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Court upholds robbery conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a woman’s Class B felony robbery conviction over her objections that the jury’s guilty finding for assisting a criminal is logically inconsistent with its guilty finding for robbery as an accomplice.

Dominique Woods drove the getaway car in a robbery of a woman’s purse. The woman jumped on the car to try to stop the car, and Woods drove away, causing injuries to the victim. After her arrest, Woods admitted she knew the robber was broke and wanted someone to rob. She was charged with Class B felony robbery, Class C felony robbery, Class C felony battery, Class D felony resisting law enforcement, and Class D felony assisting a criminal. The jury was instructed on accomplice liability; the jury found her guilty of Class B felony robbery, Class C felony robbery, Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness as a lesser included offense of the battery charge, and Class D felony assisting a criminal.

Woods claimed based on Joseph v. State, 659 N.E.2d 676 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995), that the robbery and assisting a criminal verdicts were inconsistent and she couldn’t be convicted of both offenses. The trial court found Joseph controlling and entered a judgment of conviction for the Class B felony robbery and Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness only.

According to Woods, the offenses of robbery and assisting a criminal are mutually exclusive, and the jury could not have found her guilty of both offenses. She asked for her robbery conviction to be vacated or to have a new trial.

In Dominique D. Woods v. State of Indiana, No. 45A03-1107-CR-292, the judges found there was sufficient evidence to support Woods committed Class B felony robbery as an accomplice.

“We conclude that, as in Newgent and Joseph, Woods’s actions after Manning stole the purse merely represented her continuing scheme or plan to aid Manning in the robbery. Moreover, as in Newgent and Joseph, the allegedly inconsistent guilty verdicts do not necessitate a new trial or reversal of the robbery conviction,” wrote Judge Michael Barnes. “Although the jury found Woods guilty of Class B felony robbery, Class C felony robbery, Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness as a lesser included offense of the battery charge, and Class D felony assisting a criminal, the trial court properly entered judgment of conviction and sentenced her for the Class B felony robbery and Class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness only.”

 

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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