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Richard v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

October 8, 2014

RODNEY A. RICHARD, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff

APPEAL FROM THE LA PORTE CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Thomas Alevizos, Judge. Cause No. 46C01-1206-FA-195.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: KRISTINA J. JACOBUCCI, Newby, Lewis, Kaminski & Jones, LLP, La Porte, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, JESSE R. DRUM, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ROBB, Judge. BAKER, J., and KIRSCH, J., concur.

OPINION

ROBB, Judge.

Case Summary and Issue

Rodney A. Richard appeals his Class A felony convictions for dealing in cocaine within one thousand feet of a public park and dealing in cocaine within one

Page 285

thousand feet of a family housing complex. Richard raises two issues for our review, which we consolidate and restate as one: whether there was sufficient evidence to support Richard's convictions.[1] We conclude there was sufficient evidence to convict Richard of dealing in cocaine within one thousand feet of a public park, and we affirm that conviction. We also conclude, however, the State did not offer sufficient evidence to prove Richard committed dealing in cocaine within one thousand feet of a family housing complex. Accordingly, we reverse that conviction as a Class A felony and remand with instructions that the trial court enter a conviction as a Class B felony and resentence Richard on that count. We therefore affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

Facts and Procedural History

On May 23, 2012, the Michigan City Police Department organized a controlled buy between Richard and a confidential informant, Crystal Vernard. Vernard was searched prior to the buy, and she was not in possession of any drugs. Vernard traveled to a house at 515 Union Street, which is located within one thousand feet of Hansen Park. Vernard met Richard at this house, and after leaving the residence, Vernard provided the police with cocaine she purchased from Richard.

On June 4, 2012, the police orchestrated another controlled buy between Richard and Vernard. Once again, Vernard was searched prior to the buy, and no contraband was found on her person. Vernard then met Richard at 221 Crestwood Drive, which is near the Garden Estates Housing Complex. Vernard exited the house after several minutes and provided the police with cocaine she purchased from Richard. Richard was arrested later that day. Richard was carrying money given to Vernard for the second controlled buy, and the police also found several packets containing cocaine and heroin in Richard's vehicle.

On June 7, 2012, the State charged Richard with five counts and later amended those charges, resulting in the following: Count I, dealing in cocaine (public park), a Class A felony; Count II, dealing in cocaine (family housing complex), a Class A felony; Count III, dealing in cocaine or narcotic drug, a Class A felony; Count IV, dealing in cocaine or narcotic drug, a Class B felony; and Count V, receiving stolen property, a Class D felony. A jury trial was held in October 2013. The trial court granted Richard's motion for judgment on the evidence on Count V, and the jury found Richard guilty of Counts I through IV. Richard was sentenced to concurrent terms of forty years on Counts I, II, and III, with six years suspended to ...


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