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Fuller v. State

Supreme Court of Indiana

June 2, 2014

JACOB FULLER, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee (Plaintiff below)

Appeal from the Madison Circuit Court, No. 48C01-1103-MR-434. The Honorable David A. Happe, Judge. On Petition To Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 48A02-1210-CR-848.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: David W. Stone IV, Stone Law Office and Legal Research, Anderson, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, Michael Gene Worden, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Rucker, Justice. Dickson, C.J., and David, Massa and Rush, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 654

Rucker, Justice.

In a companion case, today we exercised our constitutional authority and revised the 150-year sentence received by sixteen-year-old Martez Brown for two counts of murder and one count of robbery. Brown v. State, No. 48S02-1406-CR-363, __ N.E.3d __, (Ind. 2014). In this case we exercise that same authority to revise the 150-year sentence received by Brown's cohort, fifteen-year-old Jacob Fuller.

Facts and Procedural History

Sometime during the late evening hours of Friday, November 26 and the early morning hours of Saturday, November 27, 2010, three teenagers--eighteen-year-old Na-Son Smith, sixteen-year-old Martez Brown and fifteen-year-old Jacob Fuller--robbed Stephen Streeter and his girlfriend Keya Prince in their Anderson home. Streeter and Prince were shot and killed during the robbery, and Fuller and his friends absconded with several thousand dollars in cash, several pounds of marijuana, two video game systems, two flat-screen televisions, and a 9mm handgun. The bodies of Streeter and Prince were discovered the following Monday when police conducted a welfare check at their home.

At about 2:45 a.m. the next day an officer on patrol saw two youths walking along a street in Anderson and stopped them, suspecting a curfew violation. They were later identified as Fuller and Smith. Around the same time, a resident called 9-1-1 to report seeing a young man toss a handgun into a nearby yard as police approached. Fuller and Smith were arrested, the handgun was recovered nearby, and the resident identified Fuller as the

Page 655

person who had discarded the handgun. Subsequently, Fuller's fingerprints were found on the magazine of the handgun, and forensic analysis established the bullet killing Keya Prince was fired from this handgun.

A few days later Brown was arrested in connection with the crime and gave police a statement--which he subsequently recanted when called as a witness during Fuller's trial--implicating himself, Fuller, and Smith in the double killings. Specifically Brown explained that he, Fuller, and Smith had targeted Streeter because they heard he was a drug dealer and kept large amounts of cash. According to Brown, Fuller drove the three of them to Streeter's house; each of the teenagers was armed with a gun; and the trio entered the house, bound Streeter, and grabbed Prince. While Brown was " looking for money and the bud," Fuller shot Prince once in the chest. State's Ex. 172 (Tr. of Brown's Interview at 29). According to Brown, shortly thereafter Smith shot Streeter once in the back of the head. Brown told police his friends shot the victims because they were afraid of being recognized. During a police interview shortly after his arrest, Fuller admitted possessing the handgun, but denied involvement with the shootings.

After the robbery Fuller and his cohorts went on a shopping spree in which they spent the proceeds. They were later identified in a Walmart surveillance video during one of these excursions. And police later recovered photographs retrieved from the cell phones of Smith and Fuller taken shortly after ...


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