James L. McGraw, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Marion Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
49G17-1509-F5-32010 The Honorable James B. Osborn, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Darren Bedwell Marion County Public
Defender Agency - Appellate Division Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of
Indiana Monika Prekopa Talbot Deputy Attorney General
At some point prior to September of 2015, Appellant-Defendant
James McGraw and Kirsten Lance were involved in a romantic
relationship. On September 6, 2015, Lance, accompanied by her
mother, went to McGraw's residence to remove Lance's
belongings. While at McGraw's residence, Lance and McGraw
argued about the removal of certain possessions. At some
point during this argument, McGraw struck Lance in the face
with the back of his hand. This contact was observed by other
witnesses at the scene.
On September 9, 2015, Appellee-Plaintiff the State the
Indiana ("the State") charged McGraw with two
counts of Level 5 felony battery resulting in bodily injury
to a pregnant woman and one count of Class A misdemeanor
domestic battery. Eventually, the case proceeded to a bench
trial, during which the trial court found Lance to be an
unavailable witness and struck her testimony. Following
conclusion of the State's case-in-chief, McGraw moved for
dismissal of the charges pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 41(B)
("Trial Rule 41(B)"). The trial court granted
McGraw's motion, allowed the State to proceed on the
lesser-included offense of Class A misdemeanor battery, and
found McGraw guilty of this lesser-included offense. The
trial court then sentenced McGraw to a term of 365 days, with
sixty-five of those days suspended.
On appeal, McGraw contends that because the trial court's
sentencing order reflects that the original charges were
dismissed, but does not designate that the dismissal of the
charges constituted an adjudication of the charges on the
merits, the sentencing order must be amended to clearly
reflect as such. The State argues that no amendment to the
sentencing order is necessary. Concluding that no correction
to the sentencing order is necessary, we affirm.
and Procedural History
At some point prior to September of 2015, McGraw and Lance
were engaged in a romantic relationship. During at least part
of this time, Lance resided with McGraw at his residence.
After the relationship ended, Lance asked her mother to go
with her to McGraw's residence to retrieve some personal
belongings. Lance indicated that she wanted to do so while
McGraw was not present.
On September 6, 2015, Lance, who was pregnant, and her mother
went to McGraw's residence. Shortly after entering
McGraw's residence, Lance exited the residence carrying a
television, which she loaded in her mother's vehicle.
Lance then went back inside McGraw's home to collect
certain other items. At the time, there was a great deal of
commotion on the street outside McGraw's residence as
members of the Indianapolis Fire Department had responded to
a nearby unrelated incident.
While Lance was inside collecting other items, McGraw
returned home. McGraw inquired as to why the television was
in Lance's mother's vehicle. Lance's mother
responded "if it's yours, take it … I
don't want any part of it if it's yours." Tr. p.
141. McGraw then removed the television from Lance's
mother's vehicle and placed it in his own.
About that time, Lance exited McGraw's residence with a
rolling laundry basket which appeared to be full of
women's clothing and a twelve-pack of Pepsi. McGraw
approached Lance and the two began to argue. During this
argument, the laundry basket was knocked over and its
contents spilled onto the street. Also during this argument,
McGraw struck Lance in the face with the back of his hand. At
least one of the firefighters who had responded to the nearby
unrelated incident observed the confrontation between McGraw
and Lance and contacted police. When Indianapolis
Metropolitan Police Officers Brenda Fekkes and Calvin Tipton
arrived at the scene, they observed that McGraw had gone
inside his residence and Lance, who still appeared to be
upset, had blood on the inside of her mouth. Officers Fekkes
and Tipton then placed McGraw under arrest.
Three days, later, on September 9, 2015, the State charged
McGraw with two counts of Level 5 felony battery resulting in
bodily injury to a pregnant woman and one count of Class A
misdemeanor domestic battery. McGraw's jury trial was
scheduled to begin on December 3, 2015. During voir dire,
McGraw interrupted the proceedings by standing up and angrily
complaining about the trial, his attorney, and the
complaining witness. As a result of McGraw's actions, the
trial court declared a mistrial, held McGraw in direct