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COA reverses conviction based on charging information

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Because the charging information did not give a defendant fair notice of the crime of which he was convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his Class B felony attempted aggravated battery conviction.  

Billy Young, Latoya Lee, Marquise Lee and an unidentified man went to the apartment of Ramon Gude two days after Latoya Lee got in a fight with Gude’s girlfriend, Tiara Robertson. Marquise and Ramon began fighting. The unidentified man shot Ramon much to the surprise of Young and Marquise Lee. Ramon died of his injuries and the three known assailants were charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

After a two-day bench trial, the judge determined the proof was insufficient to support the charges, but that the state had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Latoya Lee was going to arrange for a “beat down” of Ramon. The judge convicted each co-defendant of Class B felony attempted aggravated battery.

At first blush, it could seem that attempted aggravated battery could be an inherently lesser included offense of murder, but under the circumstances of this case, that conviction is not appropriate, the appeals court held in Billy Young v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1310-CR-868.

“It stands to reason that the facts alleged in the charging information must be the same facts that form the basis for a lesser included offense,” Judge Margret Robb emphasized. “The trial court found the alleged facts underlying Young’s murder charge were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and his conviction for attempted aggravated battery was based on other evidence presented at trial. Thus, Young’s attempted aggravated battery conviction is not a lesser included offense of the murder charge.”

“Young was denied the ability to limit his defense when he was convicted of a crime despite the trier of fact’s belief that a connection between Young and the charged murder was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Because Young was convicted of a crime entirely different from the one with which he was charged, his conviction cannot stand,” she wrote.
 

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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