COA affirms denial of accused killer’s release in drug deal case

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the denial of a St. Joseph County man’s motion for release on bail after he was arrested and charged with murder stemming from a fatal drug deal.   

In April 2019, Kyle Doroszko planned to sell $400 worth of marijuana and possibly a gun to buyers he met via social media. In preparation for the deal, Doroszko brought two guns and an accomplice with him to a South Bend bar where the exchange was to take place.

When the potential drug buyers arrived, two of them entered the backseat of the SUV, including Traychon Taylor. At some point, two other men exited the buyers’ car wearing masks, approached Doroszko’s vehicle and fired one shot into the vehicle. When Doroszko felt “something placed against the back of his head,” he and Taylor began to fight over the marijuana and a backpack.

Doroszko shot Taylor twice with his handgun and Taylor fell out of the SUV into the roadway and later died from his injuries.

Doroszko admitted that he had thrown the gun used to kill Taylor into a river. He was ordered held without bond after he was charged with murder, and the trial court denied Doroszko’s three filed motions for release on bail.

In affirming that decision, the Indiana Court of Appeals found it was reasonable for the trial court to find by a preponderance of the evidence that there was an immediate and causal connection to the confrontation that led to Taylor’s death.

That said, we reject Doroszko’s reliance on (Gammons v. State, 148 N.E.3d 301, 306 (Ind. 2020))   for the proposition that the State was obligated to prove beyond a reasonable doubt at the bail hearing that Dorosko did not act in self-defense,” Judge Robert Altice wrote for the appellate court.

“Finally, we reject Doroszko’s alternative claims that Gammons was incorrectly decided, in that when the matter proceeds to trial, the jurors will necessarily apply a lesser ‘but-for standard even when they are instructed that they must find an immediate causal connection between the crime and confrontation,’” it continued.

Thus, the appellate court concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Doroszko’s request for release on bail in Kyle Nicholas Doroszko v. State of Indiana, 20A-CR-1332.

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