COA upholds attempted murder conviction based on video evidence

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A man convicted of attempted murder after shooting at another man also holding a gun has failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his conviction should be thrown out on self-defense grounds.

In Herbert Quinn v. State of Indiana, 18A-CR-2256, Herbert Quinn went to the home of Darryl Boone and his fiancee, Kendra King, purportedly to discuss an alarming Facebook post. Monica Walker, King’s sister who accompanied Quinn, believed Quinn wanted to go to the home to beat up Boone.

Quinn knocked on the door multiple times when they arrived at the home, but he never identified himself when Boone asked who was there. Boone grabbed a gun and went to investigate, and when Quinn saw him, he also pulled a gun. Boone raised his gun as Quinn had done, prompting Quinn to fire two shots, one of which struck Boone and sent him to the hospital for surgery.

Indianapolis police obtained multiple video recordings from the incident from a nearby security camera and from King’s phone. Quinn was eventually convicted of attempted murder, but on appeal he claimed the state had not presented enough evidence to rebut his self-defense claim.

In disagreeing with that argument, the Indiana Court of Appeals pointed to Quinn’s actions of going to the home angry, refusing to identify himself and drawing his gun before Boone ever opened the door.

“This evidence also supports a finding that Quinn provoked, instigated, or willingly participated in the violence that subsequently ensued,” Judge Rudolph Pyle wrote. “Accordingly, the State’s evidence is sufficient to negate an element of Quinn’s self-defense claim and satisfy the State’s burden. … For that reason alone, Quinn’s argument fails.”

The COA likewise rejected Quinn’s argument that the video evidence indisputably contradicted the state’s rebuttal of his self-defense claim, specifically claims regarding whether Quinn was the initial aggressor or reasonably feared serious bodily injury or death. Because the video was subject to different interpretations, Pyle said it did not qualify as indisputable under Love v. State, 73 N.E.3d 693 (Ind. 2017).

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