Melvin Wolf v. State of Indiana - 3/29/17

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Wednesday  March 29, 2017 
1:00 PM  EST

1 p.m. 10A01-1607-CR-01560. University of Southern Indiana. Wolf went to the race track to watch his son’s race.  Another driver, Kevin Blue, beat Wolf’s son.  The two racers’ cars collided on the track.  After the race, Wolf approached Blue in the “weigh-in” area.  Wolf called Blue names.  When Blue turned around, either he grabbed Wolf and Wolf punched him or Wolf just punched him.  Both men ended up on the ground, scuffling, until they were pulled apart.  Later, Wolf was arrested and charged with battery.  During the bench trial, Wolf claimed self-defense.  The trial court found him guilty and sentenced him to six months, suspended to probation.

Wolf argues the State did not refute his self-defense claim.  He claims the trial court erred in finding the fact he called Blue names constituted provocation.  Wolf asserts he had a constitutional right to do so.  Additionally, Wolf was not in a place he was not allowed to be and he only struck Blue in self-defense after Blue grabbed Wolf’s shirt.  He also claims Blue’s testimony was incredibly dubious because it differed from the original police report.
The State counters the trial court was presented with sufficient evidence to find Wolf guilty.  Wolf did not withdraw from the encounter; thus, a successful self-defense claim was not supported.  The State the trial testimony was not incredibly dubious.

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