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. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.