COA upholds murder conviction after rejecting involuntary manslaughter appeal

November 15, 2016

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s murder conviction after rejecting his claim that the jury should have been instructed on an involuntary manslaughter charge because he did not intend to kill his victim when he was beating her.

During the early morning hours of Nov. 21, 2002, Marco Galindo and Natalie Horsley were alone in a vacant Hendricks County apartment when Galindo became angry and began beating and strangling Horsley for at least 90 seconds. Galindo then left the apartment, and a construction crew found Horsley’s body later that morning.

Despite collecting DNA samples from semen found on Horsley’s body, detectives were unable to find a DNA match or a suspect. Horsley moved to California and assumed an alias, Amada Trejo Saludes.

But about 10 years later, detectives learned through a hit on a database that a possible person with the same DNA profile found in the semen sample had been located in California. Oral swabs were obtained from Galindo/Saludes, and he was interviewed by Hendricks County Sheriff’s detective Scott Larsen. During the interview, Galindo said Horsley had threatened to tell his girlfriend about their sexual relationship, so Galindo had become angry and began to beat her. He admitted to leaving her severely beaten on the floor without seeking medical treatment, but said he did not intend to kill her.

Galindo was subsequently charged with murder and proffered jury instructions on voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, but the Hendricks Circuit Court agreed only to the voluntary manslaughter instructions. Galindo was convicted of murder and sentenced to 65 years in prison, but he appealed, arguing that the trial court should have accepted the involuntary manslaughter instruction because there was a serious evidentiary dispute as to whether he had intended to kill Horsley by beating and strangling her.

In a Tuesday opinion, the Indiana Court of Appeals wrote that it could not agree with Galindo’s argument.

Specifically, the Court of Appeals pointed to the similar case of Erlewin v. State, 775 N.E.2d 712, 714 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002), which found, in part, that “Choking someone for a minimum of 45 seconds clearly evinces an intent to kill or, at the very least, an awareness of a high probability that death would result.”

That finding, coupled with a doctor’s testimony that Horsley had died of “tremendous force” and the fact that Galindo did not seek medical treatment for Horsley, supports the trial court finding that there was no evidentiary dispute regarding Galindo’s intent to kill her, the appellate court wrote.

“Galindo argues that, if Horsley died from the beating, that evidence is consistent with his version of events leading up to her death and, as he state in his interview with Detective Larsen, he did not intend to kill her,” the court wrote. “But the evidence shows that Horsley died from a combination of the strangulation and the beating, and the evidence showed further that Galindo used ‘extensive’ and ‘prolonger’ force in strangling Horsley.”

The case is Marco A. Galindo v. State of Indiana, 32A05-1607-CR-1541.


Recent Articles by Olivia Covington