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Middleton v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

April 10, 2015

Jeremy Middleton, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Appeal from the Clark Circuit Court; The Honorable Vicki L. Carmichael, Judge; 10C04-1309-FC-246.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Jeffrey D. Stonebraker, Clark County Chief Public Defender, Jeffersonville, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Kenneth E. Biggins, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

May, Judge. Barnes, J., and Pyle, J., concur.

OPINION

May, Judge.

[¶1] Jeremy Middleton challenges the sufficiency of evidence support his conviction of Class D felony theft.[1]

[¶2] We reverse.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶3] On September 19, 2013, Middleton entered Rural King with two other people. Employees notified Roxanne Mundy, a department manager, of suspicious behavior. Mundy started to observe and follow Middleton. Mundy saw Middleton attempt to cut the security device from a product, but she was unable to identify that product. Mundy thought Middleton saw her, and Middleton then left the store.

[¶4] Doug Burdin, another department manager, and Christopher Watkins, the store manager, followed Middleton and

Page 1276

Mundy into the parking lot in order to obtain a license plate number or a car description. Middleton said to Mundy: " Why are you following me? I've got nothing." (Tr. at 84.) Mundy insisted Middleton return " what you have." ( Id. at 31.) Both Mundy and Middleton threatened to call the police. During their interaction, Middleton was raising his shirt and putting his hands in his pockets. At one point, Middleton pulled a knife from his pocket, which he dropped and Mundy retrieved. Mundy gave the knife to Watkins.

[¶5] Watkins saw a police car driving nearby and flagged down Officer Jeff Gordon to assist. Middleton, on seeing the police, started running away. Burdin watched where Middleton was going and pointed him out to Officer Gordon. Officer Gordon was able to catch Middleton and arrest him. Middleton declared his innocence.

[¶6] At trial, in support of the theft charge,[2] the State presented the testimony of Mundy, Watkins, and Burdin. Middleton objected to parts of their testimony as hearsay. The court allowed the testimony, but it admonished the jury that the testimony was to be used to explain the actions of the Rural King employees, not ...


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