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Winkleman v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 17, 2014

TYRONE WINKLEMAN, Appellant/Defendant,
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee/Plaintiff

Page 845

APPEAL fro THE ELKHART CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Terry C. Shewmaker, Judge. Cause No. 20C01-1307-FA-00040.


ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; GEORGE P. SHERMAN, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

VAIDIK, Chief Judge. BAKER, J., and RILEY, J., concur.


Page 846

VAIDIK, Chief Judge

Case Summary

Tyrone Winkleman was convicted of Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Class A felony kidnapping, and Class B felony criminal confinement, and sentenced to seventy-six years for kidnapping a truck driver in Elkhart, Indiana. Winkleman now appeals, arguing that the trial court committed fundamental error in instructing the jury because it omitted an element from the kidnapping instruction, failed to advise him of his Boykin rights before he pled guilty to the habitual-offender allegation, and abused its discretion

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in identifying four of the aggravators when sentencing him. Concluding that the jury instruction does not constitute fundamental error, Winkleman has failed to establish on this record that he did not know he was waiving his Boykin rights, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in identifying the aggravators, we affirm the trial court.

Facts and Procedural History

James Armagost is an independent contractor who delivers travel trailers around the country using his own Ford F-350 truck to haul them. On July 24, 2013, sixty-eight-year-old James drove to Elkhart, Indiana, from Virginia. He was going to pick up a trailer from Indiana Transport the next morning and drive it to Tallahassee, Florida. Indiana Transport paid James half of his money up front and put that amount on a " Comdata" [1] card so that James could pay for his fuel and other travel expenses. Tr. p. 131. James got a room at the Budget Inn in Elkhart so that he could get a good night's sleep before leaving for Florida in the morning.

As James carried his luggage to Room 121, he noticed a man, later identified as thirty-three-year-old Winkleman, sitting in a chair outside Room 120 and said " hi" to him. Id. at 135. After James unpacked his belongings, he left for dinner. When James returned from dinner, Winkleman approached him in the motel parking lot. Winkleman was " shuffling" and appeared to be having " a hard time breathing." Id. at 137. Winkleman asked James for help, and James offered to call 911. But when James reached out to support Winkleman, Winkleman struck James hard in the face, lifting James off his feet and onto the ground and causing him to bleed. Winkleman then displayed a knife and told James that if he screamed, he would cut off his head. Id. at 139. Winkleman held James down by putting one shoe across his upper chest; he then choked James with his left hand while holding the knife in his right hand. According to James, he " couldn't breath[e] at all." Id. James eventually asked Winkleman what he wanted, and Winkleman replied, " I want your wallet, and I want it now." Id. at 140-41. James handed over his wallet. Winkleman then asked for James's guns. When James explained that he did not travel with guns, Winkleman did not believe him, reasoning, " [Y]ou're a cowboy. I know damn well you got guns in [your truck]." Id. at 141. After Winkleman realized that he had all of James's cash, he demanded James's Comdata card. James gave Winkleman his Comdata card as well as his other credit cards.

Winkleman then " yanked" James up and dragged him to his motel room. Id. at 142. Once inside, Winkleman started " talking trash" and threatening James. Id. Winkleman tore up a towel and indicated that he was going to tie up James with it. At this point, James told Winkleman that he had heart problems and that he needed his nitroglycerin medication, which he kept in a cylinder bottle attached to his keychain; however, Winkleman had his keys. Winkleman gave James a couple of pills from the bottle. Winkleman then continued his threats and told James that he would cut his throat if he did not cooperate. Winkleman explained that he needed a lot of money " fast" because he wanted to bail his girlfriend out of jail that night. Id. at 144. Winkleman put on some of James's clothes, gave James some towels

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to cover his bleeding, and helped James into the passenger side of James's truck. See id. at 146 (" Q: Do you think at that point you could have run? A: I think at that point without help I couldn't have walked." ).

Winkleman drove James's truck to Yoder's Truck Stop and used James's Comdata card to make two withdrawals of $300 from an ATM. Winkleman then drove to a trailer park, where he claimed to be living. Winkleman took James to a shed and ordered him to stay inside. Winkleman told James that he was in the " ville" and that if he tried to escape, his neighbors would catch him. Id. at 150. Winkleman eventually returned to the shed with sandwiches and took James back to the truck.

Winkleman then drove to a Marathon gas station and started talking to some females who were loitering outside. One of the females, Casey Kelly, got in the truck. As soon as Casey got in the truck, she saw that James's " face was bloody with a towel to it" and that he was " bleeding all over the place." Id. at 258. After stopping at a liquor store, Winkleman and Casey began looking for drugs. They eventually stopped at a house on Middlebury Street to buy cocaine from someone Casey knew. When Winkleman stopped the truck, James tried to escape, but Winkleman yelled at him to stop. Realizing he could not run due to his injuries, James reluctantly got back in the truck.

Winkleman then drove back to the Budget Inn. Winkleman put James in James's motel room, Room 121, and James asked Winkleman if he was going to kill him; Winkleman replied that he did not know yet. Then Winkleman, using James's room key, locked James in the room from the outside and took the key with him to his own room, Room 120, where he took Casey to " [t]o party and have sex." Id. at 263. Winkleman, apparently, did not realize that James could simply unlock the door from the inside. So, as soon as James heard " the bed [next door] start[] rumbling," he simply " walked right out of the room" and went to the McDonalds across the street to call the police. Id. at 155.

Police officers went to Winkleman's motel room, Room 120, and found him inside with a naked female. The officers found a knife, a room key that said Room 121, and a cell phone on top of the bed, as well as James's Comdata card, credit cards, and truck keys with the medication cylinder attached. The officers also found a large amount of " crisp" cash on a table that looked like it had come from an ATM. Id. at 71. An officer read Winkleman his Miranda rights, and Winkleman said he was willing to talk to the police. Winkleman had an injury to his hand that he said was from hitting a wall. When the officer asked Winkleman if he hit James, he said yes. Id. at 75. At this point, the officer arrested Winkleman. James was treated at the Elkhart General Hospital emergency room for multiple facial fractures, contusions, and lacerations that required stitches.

The State charged Winkleman with Count I: Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Count II: Class A felony kidnapping, Count III: Class B felony criminal confinement, and Count IV: Class B felony carjacking. The State later alleged that Winkleman was a habitual offender. Following a jury trial, Winkleman was convicted as charged. Winkleman pled guilty to the habitual-offender allegation. Id. at 212-21. For double-jeopardy purposes, the trial court entered judgment of conviction on Counts I, II, and III only. The trial ...

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