APPEAL FROM CLARK CIRCUIT COURT, The Honorable Henry Leist, Special Judge, Cause No. 84-CR-27.
Givan, J., Shepard, C.j., DeBruler, Pivarnik and Dickson, JJ., concur.
A jury trial resulted in the conviction of appellant of Murder and Robbery, a Class A felony. Appellant received a thirty (30) year sentence for Robbery and a forty (40) year sentence for Murder, enhanced by thirty (30) years due to a finding that he was an habitual offender. Appellant's sentence for Robbery is to be served concurrently with his sentence for Murder.
The facts are: Clarence Hartson was a drug dealer who conducted his business from his trailer in a remote area near Otisco, Indiana. He and his live-in girl friend Rhonda Donahue were dependent upon drugs. They would inject cocaine several times a day and would go five or six days at a time without sleeping or eating.
Hartson became appellant's cocaine supplier. For approximately two months, appellant visited Hartson every day to shoot cocaine with Hartson and Donahue. Appellant would either pay Hartson for the drugs as he used them or he would obtain them "on credit."
Hartson had several guns, thousands of dollars and a supply of drugs stashed in his trailer. On September 16, 1984, appellant and his girl friend, Marilyn Cassidy, visited Hartson to obtain more drugs. At that time, appellant owed Hartson approximately $600 for drugs. Hartson refused to distribute more drugs on credit to appellant, but later he did inject cocaine with him.
On that day, appellant promised Hartson that he would go to the bank the next morning and withdraw money from his father's account to pay his debt to Hartson. Appellant and his girl friend, who was in hiding because she just had escaped from a Kentucky correctional institution, decided it would be best to spend the night in Hartson's trailer. Hartson and appellant planned to go to the bank together the next morning.
Before the two couples retired, Hartson gathered all of the drugs and guns and took them into his bedroom. Donahue testified that he gave her a .357 revolver and told her that if appellant or Cassidy came into the bedroom, she should shoot them. The .357 was placed on the floor next to the bed.
Donahue also testified that during the evening appellant asked her to give him some cocaine without Hartson's knowledge, but she refused. During the night, however, she did place some cocaine in the bathroom for appellant and Cassidy while Hartson was sleeping, but they did not use it.
The next morning Donahue was awakened by a man yelling in the living room. She heard a single gunshot and noticed the .357 was missing. She ran down the hall toward the living room and met appellant, who was wiping the .357 with a rag and holding a bag of cocaine. Appellant said to her, "He's dead. No, Rhonda, he's dead, I killed him."
Appellant asked Donahue where the drugs and money were located. He took about $3,000 from Hartson's wallet and some drugs. After collecting some personal belongings, all three left for Florida.
Upon investigation, police found Hartson's body in the living room of the trailer. The .357 was under his hand and a shotgun was in the kitchen. Expert testimony revealed that Hartson was shot in the head with a .357.
Appellant first argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction. He contends the evidence fails to show ...