ILNews

Evidence shows stabbing by inmate wasn’t in self defense

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.  

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

ADVERTISEMENT