There is ample evidence proving that a Marion County man was aware his ex-girlfriend obtained a protective order against him when he broke into her home, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
In Anthony Smith v. State of Indiana, 49A05-1304-CR-195, Anthony Smith claimed there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove he knowingly violated the protective order Sara Pearson obtained against him. A police detective verbally told Smith over the phone that he was to have no contact with Pearson. Pearson also told Smith about the protective order in a text message.
She was moving, so Smith wanted to get his weightlifting equipment out of her home. He texted her and she suggested a time, believing the police could be there during the pick up. But Smith wanted to come the next day, to which Pearson said no. Later that day, she came home to find Smith in her home. He grabbed her and took her phone and pepper spray. He ran off when the doorbell rang.
He was charged with and convicted of Class D felony residential entry and Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy as well as found to be a habitual offender. He only appealed the invasion of privacy charge.
The cases Smith cited to support his argument, Hendricks v. State, 649 N.E.2d 1050 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995), and Joslyn v. State, 942 N.E.2d 809, 813 (Ind. 2011), the judges found to actually support his conviction.
Smith had actual notice that the protective order prohibited any contact with Pearson. It does not matter that he wasn’t provided with all of the protective order’s specific terms by the detective, Senior Judge Patrick Sullivan.
Smith also claimed he received mixed messages because Pearson’s actions in communicating with him through text messages and arranging a time for him to pick up his personal possessions from her house gave him reason to believe that the protective order was no longer valid, but the appellate court rejected his arguments. Both the detective and Pearson told Smith the protective order was in place, and Pearson also didn’t allow Smith to come to her home without police.