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Johnson v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

July 1, 2015

Joseph M. Johnson, III, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Appeal from the Adams Superior Court. Case No. 01D01-1405-FD-51. The Honorable Max C. Ludy, Special Judge.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Joseph M. Johnson, II, Joseph M. Johnson, P.C., Decatur, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Angela N. Sanchez, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Friedlander, Judge. Baker, J., and Najam, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 687

Friedlander, Judge.

[¶1] Joseph M. Johnson III appeals his conviction of Criminal Trespass,[1] a class A misdemeanor, presenting the following restated issues for review:

1. Is the criminal trespass statute unconstitutionally vague as applied in this case?
2. Did the court properly apply the " mistake of fact" defense?
3. Was the evidence sufficient to sustain the conviction?

[¶2] We affirm.

[¶3] The facts favorable to the conviction are that approximately five years before the events that culminated in this conviction, Johnson and Danielle Lee had an extramarital affair. The relationship ended abruptly but amicably after a few

Page 688

months. In early February 2014, Johnson and Lee bumped into each other and Johnson apologized to Lee for their prior relationship. Johnson had recently separated from his wife. In March of that year, Johnson began calling Lee. At first, Lee did not answer the phone. Eventually, however, when Johnson's calls came late at night, she answered and told Johnson not to contact her. Johnson persisted and Lee eventually agreed to meet him for dinner. Johnson picked her up at her apartment and the two went to dinner. For the next month or so, they communicated frequently by text and phone calls.

[¶4] At some point around the beginning of April, however, Lee told Johnson that she did not want to see him or have a relationship with him. Johnson responded by " calling more and texting more." Transcript at 12. Lee tried to ignore Johnson's attempts at communication, but eventually " it just got too persistent" and she finally answered and again told him to leave her alone and stop calling. Id. On April 6, Johnson called and said he wanted to come to her apartment and talk to her. Lee told him that she did not want him to come over. According to Lee, " he was crying and acting upset a lot" . Id. at 13. Against Lee's expressed wishes, however, Johnson appeared at her apartment door at approximately 8 or 9 o'clock that evening. Lee answered the door, but would not let Johnson enter her apartment. Johnson " kept saying he wanted to talk to [Lee] and explain how he felt and wanted to explain the life he could provide for [her]" . Id. Johnson stood in the doorway and would not let Lee shut her door. She told him to leave " [a]t least a dozen times." Id. at 16. She informed him that she would call the police if he did not leave. When she did so, however, " [h]e just kept crying and saying that he wanted to explain and he wanted to talk to [her]." Id. During the conversation, although Johnson would occasionally walk away from the door, he soon returned and stood in the threshold of the doorway such that Lee could not close it. Finally, Lee warned him that if he did not leave she would call 911. It was only when she started dialing the number that he left.

[¶5] Lee called police and reported what had happened. She told police that she did not want Johnson there and that he would not leave. A short time later, police arrived and spoke with Lee. She asked the police to contact Johnson, a local attorney, and ask him not to come back. They did. Even after the police spoke with him, however, Johnson repeatedly attempted to contact Lee through phone calls and texts during the next couple of days. Lee received " [a]t least fifty plus text ...


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