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Man’s criminal confinement conviction reversed, battery conviction reinstated

February 3, 2015

The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a Class B felony criminal confinement conviction reversed based on insufficient evidence, but judges ordered a battery conviction previously dismissed over double jeopardy concerns reinstated.

Dustin McFadden was convicted of Class B felony criminal confinement and two counts of Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury. One of the battery convictions was vacated and the other reduced to a Class B misdemeanor over double jeopardy concerns by the trial judge. McFadden was sentenced to six months for battery and 14 years for the criminal confinement, to run concurrently.

McFadden and two other men attacked John Taulbee outside an apartment complex because he had testified against McFadden’s sister in an unrelated criminal case. The injuries required Taulbee be hospitalized for four days.

“[W]e conclude that the evidence is insufficient to support McFadden’s conviction for Class B felony criminal confinement. Our review of the record reveals no independent evidence beyond McFadden’s battery of Taulbee — which was established by evidence that McFadden pushed, hit, and kicked Taulbee and pulled his hair — that would support a conviction for criminal confinement,” Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote. “Not only is there no direct evidence of confinement, Taulbee never testified that he felt confined. And the mere fact that Taulbee was injured during the battery does not mean that he was confined. We therefore reverse and remand to the trial court with instructions to vacate McFadden’s conviction for Class B felony criminal confinement.”

“Because McFadden’s conviction for Class B felony criminal confinement will be vacated, the double-jeopardy concern that led the court to reduce McFadden’s conviction for Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a Class B misdemeanor no longer exists, and we order the trial court to reinstate McFadden’s conviction for Class C felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury.”

The case, Dustin McFadden v. State of Indiana, 39A01-1404-CR-162, is remanded for resentencing.
 

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