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Satterfield v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 12, 2015

James Satterfield, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 1272

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Lisa Borges, Judge. Cause No. 49G04-1404-MR-17426.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: James H. Voyles, Jr., Jennifer M. Lukemeyer, Voyles Zahn & Paul, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, Michael Gene Worden, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Riley, Judge. May, J. concurs. Bradford, J. concurs in result.

OPINION

Page 1273

Riley, Judge.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

[¶1] Appellant-Defendant, James Satterfield (Satterfield), appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to let bail following his arrest and charge for murder.

[¶2] We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

ISSUES

[¶3] Satterfield raises one issue on appeal, which we restate as follows: Whether the State established that the proof of Satterfield's guilt for murder is evident or the presumption of that guilt strong despite his claim of self-defense.

[¶4] The State raises one issue on cross-appeal, which we restate as follows: Whether Satterfield filed a timely notice of appeal.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶5] On the morning of April 2, 2014, Satterfield met Maegan Biddle (Biddle) at the Bankers Lane Apartments located on the near east side of Indianapolis, Indiana. Biddle was a prostitute in the area and she and Satterfield had engaged in illicit sex for money a couple of times previously. Biddle and her friend, Andre Brown (Brown), had just returned from visiting Biddle's mother in Ohio, and she decided to prostitute herself that morning to raise money to buy crack cocaine.

[¶6] Satterfield picked up Biddle along Washington Street and proceeded to the apartments where he parked under a carport. As usual, he locked the car's doors prior to parking. Biddle began performing fellatio on Satterfield for thirty-five dollars. Shortly thereafter, Satterfield noticed a man, later identified as Brown, walking through the parking lot and towards the rear of his car. Noticing Brown approach his vehicle, Satterfield became nervous and retrieved his gun[1] from behind the passenger side seat. Despite the locked doors, Brown opened the passenger's side door and leaned down, saying " hey" in a forceful voice and holding a shiny object. (Transcript p. 45). Satterfield fired a single shot. As Brown fell backward, Biddle recognized him as her friend. Satterfield drove away quickly. After driving around for a couple of minutes, Satterfield paid Biddle and she left the car.

[¶7] Around 9:30 a.m. that morning, a maintenance man from the apartment complex found Brown's body. Detective Marcus Kennedy (Detective Kennedy) of the Indianapolis Police Department was notified. By the time Detective Kennedy arrived on the scene, Brown's body had been removed but a claw hammer was located in close proximity to where Brown's body was discovered. In a subsequent forensic investigation, the hammer tested positive for Brown's DNA. Brown's car was also found behind the carport, and inside the officers found some of Biddle's

Page 1274

possessions. Within twenty-four hours of learning that Brown was dead, Satterfield arranged, through counsel, to turn himself in and to provide a voluntary statement. Satterfield has no criminal history, has never before been arrested, and has been employed in lawn care irrigation since 1988.

[¶8] On April 7, 2014, the State filed an Information, charging Satterfield with murder, a felony, Ind. Code § 35-42-1-1. On July 18, 2014, Satterfield filed a motion to let bail, which the trial court considered during a hearing on August 15, 2014. During the bail hearing, witnesses testified and exhibits were admitted. At the close of the evidence, the trial court denied Satterfield bail. On August 29, 2014, Satterfield filed a motion to reconsider, which was again denied by the trial court.

[¶9] Satterfield now appeals and the State cross-appeals. Additional facts will be ...


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