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COA: No error in denying reckless homicide instruction

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The evidence presented at trial did not support a defendant’s request to instruct the jury on reckless homicide as a lesser offense of murder, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Kendall Johnson was convicted of Class C felony battery and murder in the shooting death of Eric Bell in 2011. Bell came to the home where Johnson and another man were arguing and the three went outside. Witnesses then heard gunshots and found Bell’s body on the ground. He was shot 11 times, including three times in the head and four in the back.

The trial court gave Johnson the advisory sentence of 55 years on the murder conviction and four years on the battery conviction, to be served concurrently.

Johnson argued in Kendall Johnson v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1209-CR-755, that the trial court abused its discretion in declining his jury instruction. Johnson claimed the shooting started out in self-defense, but the trial court pointed out that Johnson shot bell twice at relatively close range, then again while Bell was running away.

“We see no serious evidentiary dispute concerning Johnson’s state of mind when he shot Bell. The State presented two witnesses who testified they heard multiple shots fired. Bell was wounded eleven times … . Johnson admitted shooting Bell twice at close range and continuing to shoot at Bell while running away. Therefore, it reasonably can be inferred Johnson knowingly fired his gun with the intent to hit Bell,” Judge Melissa May wrote.

The judges rejected Johnson’s argument his sentence should be reduced because he acted in self-defense and found that the advisory sentence is appropriate based on his criminal history and the details of this offense.

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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