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McFadden v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 3, 2015

Dustin McFadden, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Appeal from the Jefferson Circuit Court, The Honorable Darrell M. Auxier, Judge. Cause No. 39C01-1308-FB-846.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: R. Patrick Magrath, Madison, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; William Hackl Brainard, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Vaidik, Chief Judge. Baker, J., and Riley, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 1272

Vaidik, Chief Judge.

Case Summary

[¶ 1] Dustin McFadden was convicted of Class B felony criminal confinement and Class B misdemeanor battery. The trial court sentenced McFadden to six months for battery and fourteen years for criminal confinement. McFadden now appeals, challenging the sufficiency of evidence underlying his criminal-confinement conviction. He also argues tat his sentence for criminal confinement is inappropriate. Because there is no independent evidence to establish confinement beyond the evidence used to establish that McFadden committed battery, we conclude that the evidence is insufficient to support McFadden's criminal-confinement conviction. We therefore reverse and remand with instructions.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶ 2] In August 2013 McFadden attended a birthday party for his fiancé e's child. The party took place at the apartment complex where McFadden lived. John Taulbee was also at the apartment complex that day. Taulbee and McFadden knew each other; Taulbee had testified against McFadden's sister in an unrelated criminal case. Taulbee was visiting another resident of the apartment complex. Tr. p. 126.

[¶ 3] Taulbee was standing outside talking to the resident when Gary Gibson, McFadden's stepfather, approached and hit him in the head three times.[1] Id. at 132. Gibson then grabbed Taulbee's ponytail and struck him in the face, causing Taulbee to fall and hit his head on the pavement. McFadden and a third man approached and began pushing, hitting, and kicking Taulbee. Id. at 136, 139, 265. McFadden also grabbed Taulbee's hair.

Page 1273

Id. at 136, 138, 265. The men yelled, " We said we'd get you and we got you," and called Taulbee a " snitch" while they battered him. Id. at 139, 247, 295.

[¶ 4] Taulbee suffered significant injuries and was hospitalized for four days. Id. at 143. Doctors treated Taulbee for a fractured nose, subdural hematoma, an abrasion to the back of his head, and a contusion near his left eye. See id. at 342-46, 355. Taulbee's nose required surgery and his injuries compromised his vision in his left eye for a period of time. Id. at 143-45. At trial, Taulbee testified that the pain he suffered as a result of the battery was greater than a past accident in ...


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