Criminal recklessness code covers firing gun into car

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A car is a “place people are likely to gather,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, unanimously affirming a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction and eight-year sentence for a man who fired a gun into car in which a former gang ally was a passenger in Goshen.

In Jon E. Garcia v. State of Indiana, 20A04-1202-CR-257, Jon Garcia, a member of the Vatos Locos gang, argued that the court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict under Indiana Trial Rule 50(A). He also argued that I.C. 35-42-2-2(c)(3)(A) defines criminal recklessness as a Class C felony if “it is committed by shooting a firearm into an inhabited dwelling or other building or place where people are likely to gather.” Garcia argued a car didn’t meet that definition.

“We conclude that a vehicle can be a ‘place’ as contemplated by the criminal recklessness statute,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote in a unanimous opinion. “Further, we have no difficulty holding that a vehicle can be a ‘place where people are likely to gather.’

“As a result, the trial court properly denied Garcia’s motion for directed verdict,” Barnes wrote.



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