The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a criminal trespass conviction for a Marion County man after finding the state didn’t prove a material element of the crime.
Off-duty Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Talisha Harper was working as a security officer at an apartment complex in Indianapolis when she saw Marcus Willis near the leasing office. She asked if he lived in the complex, and he said no and produced his identification card. Harper checked his information against a no-trespassing list complied by the property owner management. Willis’ name was on the list, so she arrested him on suspicion of criminal trespass.
He was convicted of the charge as a Class A misdemeanor.
In Marcus Willis v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1208-CR-636, the judges reversed because the state didn’t prove that Willis had been “denied entry” as defined under Indiana Code 35-43-2-2(a)(1). There was no evidence that he was aware of the list or that he had otherwise been denied entrance to the property in a manner required by the statute.
As such, the state failed to show that Willis willfully trespassed on the apartment complex property.