APPEAL FROM THE MIAMI CIRCUIT COURT, The Honorable T. Michael Smith, Judge, Cause No. F-28-84C.
Pivarnik, J.; Shepard, C.j., DeBruler, Givan, and Dickson, JJ., concur.
Appellant-Defendant John Reno was convicted of Burglary, a class B felony, and Battery, a class A misdemeanor, by a jury in the Miami Circuit Court. The Honorable T. Michael Smith sentenced Reno to thirteen (13) years to be served at the Department of Corrections. Reno appeals and raises the following issues:
1. error by the trial court in denying Reno's motion for a mistrial; and
2. insufficient evidence to sustain Reno's conviction for Burglary and Battery.
On April 24, 1984 at approximately 6:00 p.m., William Snow left his home at 476 Jackson Place in Peru, Indiana, to visit a friend while his wife was at work. He left a light on in the living room. When he returned at 9:00 p.m. that evening, the house was dark.
Upon entering, Snow found the light had been turned off. One of the window panes in his kitchen door had been removed. As Snow walked down a hallway, someone began beating him. Snow could not see his attacker.
Between 8:30 and 9:00 that evening a neighbor observed a man run from Snow's backyard, hit a clothesline, and fall.
Police found two bedrooms ransacked. They found a greasy cap and a flashlight, neither of which belonged to the Snows. A billfold containing five one hundred dollar bills was missing. A second billfold containing between fifty to one hundred dollars also was stolen. In addition, a blue bank and coins stored in a cedar box and mason jar were taken.
The Snows owned and rented the home adjacent to theirs at 470 Jackson Place. On April 24, 1984, the home was being rented to Dockie and Donna Gibson. At this time Polly Duke Bradley and her future husband John Reno, the Defendant, were staying with the Gibsons. Both Dockie and Reno were unemployed. Mrs. Snow had earlier informed Donna Gibson that Polly and John would have to leave. They left on April 26, 1984.
On April 24, 1984, Reno spent most of the day working on his motorcycle. Dockie Gibson testified that he went to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 that evening. He had gotten up to get a glass of water when he was interrupted by Reno, who ran in the back door. Reno pulled out money and stated words to the effect, "Look what I got." He told Gibson he had burglarized the Snow home.
Reno gave the Gibsons $182.00. On April 25, 1984, he and Polly Bradley purchased wedding rings for $262.00. They paid with three (3) one hundred dollar bills. Later that day a police detective came to the Gibson home. He made appointments for the Gibsons, Reno, and Bradley to come to the police station. The detective observed an injury like a rope burn on Reno's neck.
The Sunday following the burglary William Snow confronted Reno and accused him of having burglarized his home. When Snow asked Reno how he got the ring-shaped injury on his neck, Reno stated he ...