ILNews

COA orders retrial in self-defense case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Court of Appeals determined a Marion County judge wrongly excluded evidence corroborating an Indianapolis man's self-defense claim and has ordered a new trial on a voluntary-manslaughter charge.

In Terrance Hood v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0703-CR-242, the appellate court reversed and remanded to Marion Superior Judge Tanya Walton Pratt's courtroom a case involving an August 2005 shooting outside a liquor store.

As Hood exited the store, a vehicle nearly crashed into him and he got into an argument with the driver. That intoxicated driver approached Hood, who reached into his minivan, pulled out a gun, and shot him six times before driving from the scene. The man later died, and Hood was eventually convicted of voluntary manslaughter and carrying a handgun without a license after a previous conviction. He received a 46-year sentence.

A key of the appeal was Hood's contention regarding excluded testimony about the driver possibly reaching for a gun at his waistline, and being drunk and "a little aggressive." The appellate court relied on a previous ruling in Brand v. State, 766 N.E.2d 772 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002) that the concept of evidentiary relevance is broad in a self-defense case, and here the trial court should have allowed it.

The testimony "would lend substantial credibility to Hood's assertions" that he acted in self-defense, Judge Mark Bailey wrote, adding that the court declines the state's invitation to apply the harmless error doctrine.

Hood also appealed the sentence, but in reversing this for a new trial, the court declined to address that issue.
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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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