APPEAL FROM THE LAKE SUPERIOR COURT, The Honorable James Clement, Judge, Cause No. 4CR-146-985-580.
Staton, J., Hoffman, J., and Neal, J., Concur.
Michael Jones was convicted by a jury of robbery,[Footnote 1] a class B felony. He was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, with four years suspended.[Footnote 2]
Jones contends on appeal that the trial court erred by limiting his cross-examination of the victim.
The victim, Francisco Rivera Rosas, testified that the defendant was one of two men who robbed him of about $180.00. He said the defendant had a gun. During the course of the robbery, the police arrived, and the two men fled down an alley.
Officer Fernando Villicana of the East Chicago Police Department pursued the defendant and ultimately arrested him. He found no gun and no money on the defendant or along the pursuit route.
Jones testified that he and his companion approached Francisco to obtain heroin. He said his companion had already paid for the drug. He said that when the police arrived they were not in uniform and he ran because he was in fear for his life. He also stated that he is a drug addict. Thus, at trial, Jones wanted to show that what actually occurred was a drug transaction and not a robbery.
Before trial, the trial court granted the State's motion in limine to prevent Jones from introducing into evidence the fact that Rosas had delivered drugs to an Officer Hernandez on August 27, 1985, and the fact that he had been arrested for that delivery.
At trial, the following exchange was had upon defense counsel's cross-examination of Rosas:
Q. Now, Mr. Rosas, did you ever tell the police at the East Chicago Police Department at the front desk that when these guys first walked up they asked you if you have any drugs to sell?
Q. You never told that to the police?
Q. Did you tell the East Chicago officer at the front desk that your reply to them was, "I don't have any ...