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Causey v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

November 20, 2015

Tyrone Causey, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Barbara Cook Crawford, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 49F09-1401-FD-2850.

         ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Deborah Markisohn, Marion County Public Defender Agency, Indianapolis, Indiana.

         ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, Jodi Kathryn Stein, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

         Baker, Judge. Bailey, J., and Mathias, J., concur.

          OPINION

Page 1240

          Baker, Judge.

         [¶1] Tyrone Causey appeals his conviction for Intimidation,[1] a Class D felony. Finding insufficient evidence to support this conviction, we reverse.

         Facts

         [¶2] At about 2:00 a.m. on January 19, 2014, an anonymous woman called the police to report a disturbance at Causey's residence in Indianapolis. Officers Juanita Wilkins and Michael Faulk were dispatched to investigate the situation. Upon arriving and approaching the front porch, the officers noticed that the glass on the outer storm door was broken. The officers listened for any sounds coming from inside the residence but could not hear anything. They then knocked on the door.

         [¶3] Causey opened the door and the officers asked him to step outside and speak with them. Causey stated that everything was fine and that the officers had no business there and slammed the door shut. The officers knocked again. This time, when Causey answered, the officers asked him if they could come inside to see if there was someone who might need help. Causey told the officers that he was there by himself and again told them that they had no business there. Causey then stated " you won't take me alive," and slammed the door. Tr. p. 120. The officers went back to their vehicles and called for backup.

         [¶4] While the officers waited for backup to arrive, Causey opened the door and yelled: " [G]et off my property. You don't belong on my property. If you come any closer I'll shoot." Id. at 121-22. Sergeant Steve Rivers arrived a few minutes later and spoke with Officers Wilkins and Faulk. As the three spoke, Causey again opened the door and began yelling in an unintelligible manner. Sergeant Rivers later testified that, although he could not understand what Causey was saying, he recalled hearing the words " shoot" and " kill." Id. at 200. Sergeant Rivers then called in a SWAT team out of concern that Causey may have been holding somebody hostage.

         [¶5] Prior to the SWAT team's arrival, Causey's fiancée, Ashley Jones, arrived at the residence with her three-year-old son. Jones told the officers that Causey was the only one inside, but the officers informed her that it was a hostage situation and prevented her from entering. The SWAT team, which was composed of about twenty people and one robot, eventually entered the residence and arrested Causey, who was alone in the house.

         [¶6] The State charged Causey with class D felony intimidation, class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and alleged that he was an habitual offender. Following a jury trial, Causey was convicted of class D felony intimidation.[2] The trial court sentenced him to 545 days, with 180 days executed on home detention and 365 days on probation. Causey now appeals.

         Discussion ...


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