The Indiana Appeals Court affirmed a Level 6 felony intimidation charge against Demetrius Holloway after Holloway challenged the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction.
Holloway drank some beer, then drove to a fast food restaurant where he had an altercation with another driver. An officer was dispatched to the scene and determined Holloway was drunk, then transported him to jail.
While in jail, Holloway told an officer he hopes the officer dies tonight, and also threatened him.
Holloway said his profane statement to the officer did not constitute a threat because it was brief, and he was handcuffed and in jail when he said it.
Holloway did not cite any authority for the proposition that a person must be capable of inflicting injury when the statement is made, or that it must be lengthy to constitute a threat. Because of that, his conviction was affirmed.
However, one judge in the case, Judge L. Mark Bailey, dissented. He said a threat must meet two elements: the speaker must intend his communication to put his targets in fear for their safety, and it is likely to actually cause such fear in a reasonable person similarly situated to the target.
Bailey says that second conclusion wasn’t met. While the officer is quoted as saying Holloway “meant to do me harm,” the officer did not say he was fearful or felt threatened. Another deputy was in the room, but there was no testimony that these words elicited any reaction from the officer.
The case is Demetrius Holloway v. State of Indiana, 71A04-1508-CR-1292.