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Fuentes v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 30, 2014

JOSEPH FUENTES, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 69

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 70

APPEAL FROM THE ST. JOSEPH SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Jane Woodward Miller, Judge. Cause No. 71D01-1210-FA-28.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JULIE P. VERHEYE, Mishawaka, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; BRIAN REITZ, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

MATHIAS, Judge. FRIEDLANDER, J., and PYLE, J., concur.

Page 71

OPINION

MATHIAS, Judge

Joseph Fuentes (" Fuentes" ) was convicted in St. Joseph Superior Court of Class A felony attempted murder, Class C felony possession of a handgun by a felon, Class D felony criminal recklessness, and Class D felony resisting law enforcement, and was sentenced to an aggregate term of forty years. Fuentes appeals and presents three issues for our review, which we restate as:

I. Whether the trial court erred in admitting evidence that the police found an AR-15 rifle in the trunk of Fuentes's car;
II. Whether the trial court improperly instructed the jury to continue to deliberate; and
III. Whether the State presented evidence sufficient to convict Fuentes of attempted murder.

We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

On October 2, 2012, South Bend Police Officers John Comeau (" Officer Comeau" ) and Tim Cichowicz (" Officer Cichowicz" ) were dispatched to a house on Ford Street in South Bend, Indiana on a report of a possibly armed male. When the officers arrived at the scene, Fuentes was standing by his tan Cadillac. Another man, later identified as Jaime Duron (" Duron" ) was standing in the yard of the house. Officer Comeau told Duron to approach him and ordered Fuentes not to move. Duron obeyed the officer's commands, but Fuentes jumped into his car and drove away. Officer Cichowicz pursued Fuentes in his patrol car with the siren and flashing lights activated. Fuentes ignored Officer Cichowicz's car and continued to flee, running through a stop sign. Soon thereafter, Fuentes lost control of his car and crashed into a nearby yard. Undaunted, Fuentes exited his car and fled on foot.

Officer Cichowicz got out of his patrol car and gave chase on foot. With Officer Cichowicz closing in on him, Fuentes slowed down, turned around, and pointed a firearm at Officer Cichowicz at head level. Officer Cichowicz dove for cover and heard Fuentes fire the weapon. Fuentes then continued to flee down an alleyway. Officer Cichowicz continued to pursue Fuentes, took cover behind a garage, and peered around the corner. ...


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