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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. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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