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Mathews v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 13, 2015

Kevin A. Mathews, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

As Corrected February 13, 2015.

Page 131

Appeal from the Shelby Circuit Court. The Honorable Charles D. O'Connor, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 73C01-1009-FA-10.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Amanda O. Blackketter, Blackketter Law Office, Shelbyville, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Justin F. Roebel, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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

OPINION

Page 132

Vaidik, Chief Judge.

Case Summary

[¶ 1] Kevin A. Mathews appeals his conviction for Class B felony robbery. The victim in this case was trying to redeem her casino tickets at a kiosk when Mathews walked off with them; the victim chased after him and was injured. Due to the victim's declining health, she was unable to return to Indiana for Mathews' jury trial. The State notified defense counsel that it wanted to treat the victim's upcoming deposition as a trial deposition. The State and defense counsel were at the Shelby County Prosecutor's Office, and the victim was in Louisiana. The deposition was conducted via Skype and then transcribed. Although Mathews was out on bond and had notice of the deposition, he did not attend the victim's deposition. The victim did not attend Mathews' jury trial, and her deposition was admitted into evidence.

[¶ 2] Mathews argues that the admission of the victim's deposition violated his rights under Article 1, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution because he was not present at the deposition. We find no violation. First, the victim was unavailable at the time of trial because of her declining health. Next, the victim's deposition was obtained pursuant to procedures designed to elicit the truth. That is, the victim's testimony was given under oath and transcribed by a court reporter.

[¶ 3] Finally, we find that Mathews waived his right to a face-to-face confrontation by failing to attend the victim's deposition. Mathews was free on bond, yet he did not attend the deposition. The State formally extended an offer to Mathews to attend the deposition, but defense counsel gave no reason at the deposition for his client's absence.

[¶ 4] Because Mathews waived his right to confront the victim face to face, we affirm the trial court.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶ 5] On September 25, 2010, sixty-year-old Lucille Webert went to Indiana Live! Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana.[1] Lucille lived in Louisiana, but she was visiting her daughter in Indiana. Around 5:55 p.m., Lucille went to a cash redemption machine--called kiosk 6--in order to redeem two " TITO" [2] tickets, which the Indiana Gaming Commission considers currency. Tr. p. 72, 100. One ticket was worth 50 cents and the other ticket was worth $183.50. One of the numbers printed on the $183.50 ticket was Lucille's player number.[3] What followed was captured on several of the casino's 1200 surveillance cameras. Id. at 97; Ex. 10 (video). Lucille was having difficulty redeeming her tickets. Lucille turned, and Mathews was standing there. Mathews tried to redeem the tickets for Lucille, but he was also unsuccessful. Mathews then walked away with Lucille's tickets. Ex. 10. Lucille chased Mathews, grabbed his shirt, and the two of them struggled. Id. The struggle

Page 133

ended when another casino patron grabbed Mathews. Id.

[¶ 6] An Indiana Gaming Commission agent was called down to the casino floor to investigate. He found Mathews in possession of two TITO tickets, one worth 50 cents and the other worth $183.50. The $183.50 ticket was tied to Lucille's player number. Lucille had an injury to her right ring finger and received treatment from the casino EMT. But because of the extent of the injury, Lucille was transported by ambulance to the ...


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