Evidence shows stabbing by inmate wasn’t in self defense

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A Bartholomew County jail inmate had his conviction and sentence for Class B felony aggravated battery upheld Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The judges ruled the evidence disputes his claim that a fight he got into with a fellow inmate was in self defense.

According to the opinion, Matthew Bryant challenged fellow inmate Roosevelt Crowdus to a fight because Bryant believed Crowdus was eating too loudly. The two went to Bryant’s cell where he threw the first punch, but missed. The two began fighting and at one point, Crowdus offered a truce, but Bryant refused. He then grabbed a pencil and stabbed Crowdus in the left ear, causing permanent hearing loss.

The state charged Bryant with Class B felony aggravated battery and claimed he was a habitual offender. He was found guilty as charged by a jury and sentenced to 50 years.

Bryant raised several issues on appeal in Matthew Bryant v. State of Indiana, 03A04-1205-CR-283, including that he was deprived his right to a speedy trial and the trial court abused its discretion in admitting certain evidence.

Bryant filed a motion for a speedy trial and was released two months later on his own recognizance while the trial was pending. He went back to jail because of other pending charges in an unrelated case. His trial for the battery charge occurred beyond the 70-day period that began running on Oct. 26, 2011.

Citing Cundiff v. State, 967 N.E.2d 1026, 1027 (Ind. 2012), the appellate judges found that the trial court didn’t violate Criminal Rule 4(B) as Bryant was released on his own recognizance in this case within 70 days of requesting a speedy trial.

The COA ruled the admission of Detective Christopher Roberts’ account of what Crowdus told him at the hospital about the incident is inadmissible hearsay, but the admission of this was harmless error. The judges also ruled that a recording of Bryant’s telephone call he placed while in jail to a friend was not inadmissible hearsay and the recording was not unfairly prejudicial.

There was sufficient evidence to support the aggravated battery conviction to rebut Bryant’s claim of self defense. Bryant challenged Crowdus to fight in his cell, he threw the first punch and he stabbed Crowdus with the pencil after Crowdus offered to stop fighting. The judges also declined to revise his sentence.  



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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues