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Bloomfield v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 30, 2016

Jason L. Bloomfield, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

         Appeal from the Allen Superior Court The Honorable John F. Surbeck, Jr., Judge Trial Court Cause No. 02D06-1407-F5-4

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Randy M. Fisher Deputy Public Defender Leonard, Hammond, Thoma & Terrill Fort Wayne, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of Indiana Karl Scharnberg Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Crone, Judge.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] Jason L. Bloomfield appeals his convictions for two counts of level 5 felony battery of a public safety official resulting in bodily injury and one count of level 6 felony battery of a public safety official. He asserts that the evidence is insufficient to support the jury's rejection of his insanity defense. We conclude that there was conflicting expert evidence as to whether Bloomfield was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions at the time of the offenses and whether his mental state at the time of the offenses was the result of a mental disease or defect or voluntary intoxication. Thus, there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that Bloomfield was legally sane when he committed the offenses. Accordingly, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] The evidence most favorable to the verdicts shows that in 2014, Bloomfield was regularly taking four to five Xanax pills and smoking Spice on a daily basis. On July 2, 2014, he took four to five Xanax pills and smoked Spice. On July 3, 2014, Bloomfield was booked into the Allen County Jail on charges unrelated to the current offenses. During the routine intake health screening, the nurse observed that Bloomfield had a gash across his nose, which had been inflicted by a nonlethal round or a bean bag earlier that day, and for which he had been taken to the emergency room prior to being brought to jail. Bloomfield told the intake nurse about his drug use and said that he was experiencing cold sweats. He was placed on observation for drug withdrawal and delirium tremens, and was housed in the jail block reserved for those who were being observed due to medical issues, drug withdrawal, suicide watch, or other reasons requiring close supervision.

         [¶3] While incarcerated, Bloomfield was agitated, became progressively worse, and exhibited many bizarre behaviors. He was observed naked in his cell, hallucinating, and trying to pick bugs off the wall. He drank out of the toilet. On July 5, he was taken to the hospital for "hallucinations and anxiety and spice withdrawal, " but was returned to jail. Tr. at 174. On July 6, a nurse attempted to take his vital signs but was unable to because "he had erratic behavior … he was banging and kicking on the door and it just wasn't safe for him to be let out of his cell." Id. at 164.

         [¶4] On July 7, Deputy Christopher Depew was conducting morning roll call. He opened the door to Bloomfield's cell, and Bloomfield rushed out, grabbed Deputy Depew's arm, and bit it. Bloomfield was completely naked. Deputy Depew called for backup on his lapel mike. Bloomfield grabbed the microphone and ripped it off. He began swinging the mike around by its cord and advanced toward Deputy Depew. Deputy Depew pushed Bloomfield to the ground, but Bloomfield got back up and came at the deputy. Deputy Depew realized that Bloomfield was not going to stop, so he retreated into the shower room and barricaded himself there until backup officers arrived.

         [¶5] Deputies Chad Ray and Richard Wacasey responded to Deputy Depew's call for assistance. When they entered the block, Bloomfield was lying on the floor. He immediately jumped when he saw them and took up a fighting stance. Deputy Ray wrapped his arms around Bloomfield and took him to the ground. Deputy Ray tried to handcuff Bloomfield, but Bloomfield tried to bite Deputy Ray's hand. Deputy Ray pushed Bloomfield's head away, and Bloomfield grabbed Deputy Ray's testicles and began squeezing. Deputy Ray began yelling at Bloomfield and punching him. Other officers grabbed Bloomfield's hands, put his hands behind his back, and handcuffed him. The officers then pulled him to his feet and carried him to a holding cell. Bloomfield continued to thrash about and try to bite the officers. After a restraint chair was brought into the holding cell, the officers began strapping Bloomfield in the chair. Deputy Richard Wacasey was controlling Bloomfield's head "to keep him from trying to bite anyone, " when Bloomfield spit in his face. Id. at 120. Deputy Wacasey moved his head back, and Bloomfield spit at him again. Officers then placed a spit hood on Bloomfield.

         [¶6] The State charged Bloomfield with two counts of level 5 felony battery of a public safety official resulting in bodily injury and one count of level 6 felony battery of a public safety official. Bloomfield filed his notice of intent to interpose defense of temporary insanity. The trial court appointed three doctors, Drs. David Lombard, Stephen Ross, and Kevin Wieland, to examine Bloomfield and determine his competency to stand trial and his sanity at the time he committed the offenses. All three doctors determined that Bloomfield was competent to stand trial.

         [¶7] A three-day jury trial was held. Dr. Lombard testified that when he examined Bloomfield on September 2, 2014, he was "cognitively clear" and appeared to "understand everything that was going on." Id. at 353. Because Bloomfield told Dr. Lombard that he did not remember the events of July 7, 2014, Dr. Lombard testified that he was unable to form any opinion as to Bloomfield's state of mind during the attacks. However, Dr. Lombard testified that Bloomfield's behaviors between July 3 and 7 were consistent with withdrawal from Xanax and Spice.

         [¶8] Dr. Ross testified that he examined Bloomfield on October 2, 2014. During the examination, Bloomfield was "anxious" but "he wasn't psychotic or aggressive." Id. at 423. Dr. Ross testified that Bloomfield's withdrawal from Xanax and Spice "precipitated the behaviors that led to these charges." Id. at 415. Dr. Ross concluded that the effects of withdrawal that Bloomfield had been suffering from on July 7 had been temporary. Id. at 423. Dr. Ross explained that withdrawal from Xanax can include "hyperactivity, tremors of the hand, insomnia, gastro and stomach problems, tactile hallucinations, … arbitrary hallucinations, illusions, agitation and anxiety, " as well as seizures. Id. at 417. Dr. Ross opined that Bloomfield's "mental state or capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his behaviors was diminished principally due to his voluntary ingestion of mind altering substances and subsequent withdrawal." Id. at 420-21, 427. Dr. Ross also testified that Bloomfield's actions on July 7 could have stemmed from a psychotic episode, but "also could be in part volitional, something he's choosing to do because he's angry." Id. at 421-22. He testified that any psychosis would have been temporary. Id. at 423. Dr. Ross explained that if Bloomfield was acting of his own volition on July 7, it might indicate that he was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct. Id. at 422. Dr. Ross also opined that Bloomfield's withdrawal "compromised" his ability to control his anger. Id. Other than ...


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