A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded an undated taxi cab receipt that a LaPorte County man tried to offer as proof he did not participate in a robbery spree, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
In Mario A. Allen v. State of Indiana, 46A04-1203-CR-143, the Court of Appeals affirmed Allen’s conviction for attempted robbery and robbery, both Class B felonies, and his adjudication as a habitual offender.
Police arrested Allen and his three friends at a motel in Chicago hours after the robbery of an Easy Food Mart. At trial, Allen maintained he was home alone the evening his friends put on masks, entered gas stations and demanded money.
On appeal, he argued the state abused its discretion by excluding his proffered exhibit of a receipt from the Flash Cab taxi company. He sought to introduce this document to establish a timeline and bolster his defense that he was home by himself.
Allen’s mother testified she got the receipt when she left work at 9 a.m. and took a cab to her car. She told the trial court she then drove home, picked up Allen and, together, they ran an errand.
The Court of Appeals noted even if the receipt had a date and time stamp, it would still be irrelevant to Allen’s theory of defense. That his mother took a cab is not relevant to determining if Allen was home alone.
Allen also argued the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. He asserted two of his friends, arrested for the same incident, were not credible witnesses because their testimony was part of a plea agreement.
Again, the Court of Appeals rejected Allen’s argument. The jury knew of the friends’ involvement and could decide how much weight and credibility to give their testimonies. Consequently, the court declined to invade the province of the jury.