Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burns v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 8, 2016

Donald J. Burns, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from Grant Circuit Court. The Honorable Mark E. Spitzer, Judge. Cause No. 27C01-1310-MR-5

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Joseph P. Hunter Muncie, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of Indiana J.T. Whitehead Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Sharpnack, Senior Judge

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] Donald Burns appeals his convictions for murder, a felony, [1] two counts of forgery, as Class C felonies, [2] theft as a Class D felony, [3] and two counts of receiving stolen property, as Class D felonies.[4] He also was found to be an habitual offender.[5] He alleges the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted certain photographs at trial, and that there is insufficient evidence of his intent to kill the victim to support a conviction of murder. We affirm.

         Issues

         [¶2] Burns raises the following restated issues for our review:

I. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted into evidence photographs of the victim's remains; and
II. Whether there was sufficient evidence of his intent to kill the victim to support his conviction for murder.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] The facts most favorable to the verdict are as follows. Burns was in financial straits in June of 2011. He had been served an eviction notice for failure to pay fees associated with his trailer and lot rental, and a disconnect warning for failure to pay his utility bills. He no longer was engaged in full-time employment, and instead worked sporadically performing menial labor.

         [¶4] At some point on the day of June 13, 2011, Burns made contact with his seventy-four-year-old aunt, Dorothy Hurd. Hurd left her home with Burns, leaving a note for Robert "Bob" King, a friend of hers, stating: "Bob[, ] I'll be back in a little bit. Went to the cemetery with Little [Donnie]." Tr. p. 181. The cemetery was located in Noblesville, Indiana, and was where her late husband as well as Burns' deceased father (Hurd's brother) were buried. Burns murdered Hurd and left her body in a thicket just off an access road near the Mississinewa River in Grant County in an area where Burns had fished in the past.

         [¶5] Later that evening, Burns used Hurd's credit card to purchase three gold necklaces from the jewelry department at Walmart (located in Marion, Indiana) and attempted a second purchase from the jewelry counter which was rejected by the card service. At 5:20 p.m. on that day, Burns pawned Hurd's wedding ring set at the EZ Pawn located in Marion, Indiana. He drove to his wife Janel Bishir's home in Sweetser, Indiana, and left for her an envelope containing (among other things) a greeting card, a ring belonging to Hurd that had been given to Hurd by Bob King, and one of the gold necklaces that had been purchased by Burns using Hurd's credit card.

         [¶6] On June 14, 2011, when members of Hurd's family could not reach her by telephone, they went to her home and found the note Hurd had left taped to the side door window. They checked the voicemail on her phone and heard a message from Hurd's bank that some suspicious ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.