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COA says argument over wording of robbery statute is issue of first impression

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An argument over the wording of the state’s robbery statute gave the Indiana Court of Appeals pause but ultimately did not sway its ruling in affirming a conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

The appellants in Kenyatta Erkins and Ugbe Ojile v. State of Indiana, 58A01-1205-CR-215, raised multiple issues in their appeal of their convictions for Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and Class A felony attempt to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.

In particular, Kenyatta Erkins and Ugbe Ojile asserted that the evidence was insufficient to support their convictions for Class A felony conspiracy because the would-be victim was not harmed.

The pair had been watching while the potential victim, S.M., played cards at the Grand Victoria Casino. Although they subsequently talked on their cell phones about how much money S.M. had and about robbing S.M., they never actually robbed the would-be victim.

Early the next morning, Ohio police stopped and searched Erkin’s vehicle. They found dark clothing, camouflage gloves, a roll of duct tape, and a .49 caliber Glock handgun, a BB gun and a .40 caliber cartridge.

Erkins and Ojile were charged and found guilty.

On appeal, the pair contended the evidence was insufficient to support their convictions for Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. They argued the use of the word “results” in the robbery statute, Indiana Code 35-42-5-1, requires the actual existence of serious bodily injury.
 
The appeals court noted this is an issue of first impression. The appellants cited no caselaw supporting their argument and the court did not find any cases, either in Indiana or its sister states, that address this issue.

Still, the COA pointed out Erkins and Ojile were not charged with robbery but rather charged and convicted of conspiracy.

The court concluded that the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction for a Class A felony conspiracy to commit robbery where the state establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the co-conspirators intended and agreed to cause serious bodily injury to the victim in perpetrating the robbery.

Accordingly, the COA found an individual could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellants intended and agreed to harm S.M. when they robbed him.

The COA, rejecting Erkins’ and Ojile’s argument on the sufficiency of the evidence along with the other arguments they raised, affirmed the pair’s convictions.  
 

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  • Illegal search
    Cops stopped and searched the car, didn't read anything about a search warrant, which without, violated their 4th ammendment rights the right to privacy. Also did not see any reason for making a traffic stop!
  • COA screws up again
    I want to caution everyone, if going to a costume party, have your costume delivered to the party, dress there, remove and discard before leaving. It appears that our courts can lock people up, even when there is no actual victim or no actual crime. I assume a jury made this conviction and I hope you got home in time for dinner. Juries in the United States have become a joke. A bunch of strangers sitting in judgement of another human being, for the most part don't give a crap about that person. They are more concerned with getting out of there, so they can do whatever they want to do!

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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