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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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