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Hart v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 15, 2015

Carlton Hart, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 1284

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Lisa F. Borges, Judge. Lower Court Cause No. 49G04-1211-MR-80845.

FOR APPELLANT: Lisa M. Johnson, Brownsburg, Indiana.

FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Christina D. Pace, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

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

OPINION

Page 1285

Pyle, Judge.

Statement of the Case

[¶1] Carlton Hart (" Hart" ) appeals his convictions, after a jury trial, for murder,[1] Class B felony criminal confinement,[2] and Class B felony conspiracy to commit criminal confinement.[3] On appeal, Hart argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions as an accomplice and that the trial court erroneously allowed the State to redact details of a peace treaty he brokered between rival rap groups from his statements to police. Concluding that the evidence supported Hart's convictions as an accomplice and that the trial court did not err in excluding the details of the peace treaty, we affirm Hart's convictions.

[¶2] We affirm.

Facts

[¶3] On November 11, 2012, Hart's cousin, Brandon McMitchell (a.k.a. " Bango" ), a rapper, was shot and killed. Hart owned a music recording studio in Indianapolis, and, on November 15, 2012, he allowed James McDuffy (" McDuffy" ) to use his studio, ostensibly to arrange a tribute mixtape for Bango. In truth, the intention was to question Marvin Finney (" Finney" ) and Thomas Keys (" Keys" ), two local deejays, about Bango's murder.

[¶4] Prior to the meeting, Hart, McDuffy, and Darin Jackson (" Jackson" ) went to a Lowes hardware store around 3:00 p.m. Brandon Pothier (" Pothier" ), a loss prevention manager at Lowes, started observing

Page 1286

McDuffy because he first selected a box cutter, a common tool used by shoplifters to open and take items. Pothier then observed McDuffy and Jackson near zip ties, and the men made motions crossing their wrists in front of their bodies. Hart, McDuffy, and Jackson purchased a 2x4 piece of lumber, a package of zip ties, three 12x2 flat washers, the box cutter, duct tape, and four open bar door holders. Hart, Jackson, and McDuffy then returned to the studio. Hart later took Jackson to work and then picked up his daughter, leaving McDuffy at the studio.

[¶5] Finney picked Keys up in his mother's minivan and drove to the studio, arriving at about 5:00 p.m. They were greeted by Dontee Robinson (" Robinson" ), an associate of McDuffy's who was at the studio. Finney was familiar with Robinson through music videos on YouTube. McDuffy and Keys began talking and exchanging telephone numbers, but the conversation shifted to McDuffy ...


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