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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. Not enough copperheads here to care anymore, is my guess. Otherwise, a totally pointless gesture. ... Oh wait: was this done because somebody want to avoid bad press - or was it that some weak kneed officials cravenly fear "protest" violence by "urban youths.."

  2. Should be beat this rap, I would not recommend lion hunting in Zimbabwe to celebrate.

  3. No second amendment, pro life, pro traditional marriage, reagan or trump tshirts will be sold either. And you cannot draw Mohammed even in your own notebook. And you must wear a helmet at all times while at the fair. And no lawyer jokes can be told except in the designated protest area. And next year no crucifixes, since they are uber offensive to all but Catholics. Have a nice bland day here in the Lego movie. Remember ... Everything is awesome comrades.

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  5. All these sites putting up all the crap they do making Brent Look like A Monster like he's not a good person . First off th fight actually started not because of Brent but because of one of his friends then when the fight popped off his friend ran like a coward which left Brent to fend for himself .It IS NOT a crime to defend yourself 3 of them and 1 of him . just so happened he was a better fighter. I'm Brent s wife so I know him personally and up close . He's a very caring kind loving man . He's not abusive in any way . He is a loving father and really shouldn't be where he is not for self defense . Now because of one of his stupid friends trying to show off and turning out to be nothing but a coward and leaving Brent to be jumped by 3 men not only is Brent suffering but Me his wife , his kids abd step kidshis mom and brother his family is left to live without him abd suffering in more ways then one . that man was and still is my smile ....he's the one real thing I've ever had in my life .....f@#@ You Lafayette court system . Learn to do your jobs right he maybe should have gotten that year for misdemeanor battery but that s it . not one person can stand to me and tell me if u we're in a fight facing 3 men and u just by yourself u wouldn't fight back that you wouldn't do everything u could to walk away to ur family ur kids That's what Brent is guilty of trying to defend himself against 3 men he wanted to go home tohisfamily worse then they did he just happened to be a better fighter and he got the best of th others . what would you do ? Stand there lay there and be stomped and beaten or would u give it everything u got and fight back ? I'd of done the same only I'm so smallid of probably shot or stabbed or picked up something to use as a weapon . if it was me or them I'd do everything I could to make sure I was going to live that I would make it hone to see my kids and husband . I Love You Brent Anthony Forever & Always .....Soul 1 baby

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