The Indiana Court of Appeals Wednesday pointed out that a defendant needs to assert the defense of abandonment in some manner at trial. The judges rejected a man’s claim that the defense does not require a formal pleading or notice of the defense.
Adam Bigger attempted to rob a Fort Wayne bank in December 2012 by providing a note to a teller. The teller disappeared for a moment to retrieve a key for her cash drawer, and when she returned, had her hands in the air. Bigger then left the bank.
Bigger was convicted of attempted robbery as a Class C felony and sentence to eight years.
In Adam Bigger v. State of Indiana, 02A03-1308-CR-315, Bigger contended the state’s evidence wasn’t sufficient to disprove his defense of abandonment. The state argued that Bigger waived this issue because he did not raise the defense before or during his trial.
The judges agreed with the state, noting that Bigger needed to assert the defense in some manner, otherwise, the trier of fact would not know to consider the defense in its deliberations of a defendant’s guilt. As such, the issue is waived.
The COA affirmed his sentence, which is the maximum for a Class C felony, pointing to his sizable criminal history at the age of 28, which included 11 misdemeanor convictions and one felony conviction involving drugs.
“It is clear that numerous prior brushes with the law have proven ineffective to rehabilitate Bigger, and this offense is further proof that a longer period of incarceration is appropriate. Bigger has not carried his burden of persuading this Court that his sentence has met the inappropriateness standard of review,” Senior Judge John Sharpnack wrote.