A Muncie man’s confession that he committed bestiality was admissible in the trial court because it was supported by evidence the state introduced that provided an inference that the crime had been committed, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.
Justices overturned a Court of Appeals ruling that reversed the Level 6 guilty but mentally ill conviction in Andy A. Shinnock v. State of Indiana, 18S05-1706-CR-429. The COA held in February that the state was required to prove penetration of the dog’s sex organ by a male sex organ before it could admit Andy Shinnock’s statement into evidence.
Shinnock argued his confessions should not have been admitted under the corpus delicti rule meant to exclude the confession of crime that never occurred. But because Shinnock confessed to his roommate, and later police, that he’d had sex with a female pit bull, Justice Steven David wrote for the court that the confession was admissible, affirming the conviction.
“Here, in order (to) make Shinnock’s confessions admissible, all the State had to present was independent evidence that provided an inference that the crime charged was committed," David wrote for the court. "Such evidence may be circumstantial. ... Further, there is no requirement that all of the elements of the crime be proven prior to introduction of the confessions.
“All the facts taken together suffice to demonstrate both that the dog was a victim and that Shinnock committed the crime. Accordingly, the trial court properly found that the corpus delicti rule was satisfied and admitted the confessions into evidence,” the court held.