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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. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

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