COA upholds sentence in domestic battery, tasing case

Sentences totaling more than seven years have been affirmed for an Allen County man who tased a woman he began dating after meeting on Facebook, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

In April 2019, Teisha Gonzalez and Allen Grogg started a relationship after meeting on Facebook. Shortly thereafter, the two began meeting in person, and Grogg suggested they move in together.

One night after the couple was arguing about living together, Gonzalez called 911 and reported that she was the victim of a domestic incident after Grogg tased her in the chest and the back. Grogg was ultimately charged with Level 3 felony criminal confinement, Level 5 felony counts of domestic battery and criminal confinement, Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement, Class A misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement and interference with the reporting of a crime, Class B misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident, and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

A no-contact order was also issued, restricting Grogg from contacting Gonzalez, which he violated on four separate occasions. In one instance, Grogg called Gonzalez 422 times and contacted her using the messaging system at the jail “nearly every day.” On a separate occasion, Grogg used another inmate’s tablet messaging to contact a third party to contact Gonzalez.

A jury later acquitted Grogg of the criminal confinement charges and found him guilty of Level 5 felony domestic battery and the remaining counts, sentencing him to an aggregate six-year sentence. The Allen Superior Court likewise found Grogg guilty of each of his four contempt charges and sentenced him to an aggregate 450-day term to run consecutive to his other sentence.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the trial court acted within its discretion in imposing consecutive sentences.

“In this case, while the trial court waited until after the conclusion of Grogg’s trial to determine whether Grogg’s conduct constituted contempt, the no-contact order remained in effect. All of the charges included alleged distinct violations of the no-contact order, with three allegedly occurring prior to trial. Given that the no-contact order remained in place following trial, there was a risk of continued contemptuous behavior by Grogg and there was an ongoing necessity for the trial court to ensure compliance with the court’s order. As such, we conclude that the trial court acted within its discretion in imposing consecutive sentences,” Chief Judge Bradford wrote for the appellate court.

It likewise found sufficient evidence to support his remaining convictions in Allen L Grogg v. State of Indiana, 20A-CR-00809. 

“While we are unable to determine from the record whether the object used by Grogg to shock Gonzalez would properly be classified as a taser or a stun gun, the object qualified as a deadly weapon because it had the apparent ability to cause serious bodily injury and Grogg acted in a manner that put Gonzalez in fear for her life,” the appellate court concluded.

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