from the Marion Superior Court Cause No. 49G03-1505-F5-017073
The Honorable Stanley E. Kroh, Magistrate.
Attorney for Appellant Karen S. Celestino-Horseman
Attorneys for Appellee Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of
Indiana Lyubov Gore Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis,
Darden, Senior Judge
of the Case
A jury found James Gilman guilty of leaving the scene of an
accident resulting in death, a Level 5 felony. He appeals the
trial court's decision to allow the State to reopen its
case after closing argument.
Specifically, the sole issue Gilman presents is whether the
trial court erred in allowing the State to reopen its case
after closing argument to present evidence in rebuttal of
Gilman's prior knowledge of an existing warrant for his
arrest as being unduly prejudicial and an abuse of
and Procedural History
Gilman and Melissa were married, but were separated. Despite
the separation, Gilman continued to visit Melissa where she
resided. Robin Kemp was the mother of Gilman's children.
On April 21, 2015, at around 10:15 p.m., Robin drove to the
house where Melissa resided and Gilman was visiting. Melissa
approached Robin's Chevrolet Equinox. Robin, who remained
in the car, was yelling and claimed that she was on her cell
phone with the police. She was angry about a dispute that had
arisen between her and Gilman about who owned a Chevrolet
Impala that was registered in Robin's name but was in
Gilman's possession. Melissa went back inside the house
and spoke to Gilman.
Shortly thereafter, Gilman left the house, entered the
Impala, and attempted to drive away. Robin then drove her
vehicle into the Impala, knocking it into the neighbor's
yard. After the collision, the two vehicles then "took
off" down the street. Tr. p. 153.
Both Gilman and Robin were driving at unsafe, high speeds,
and their cars bumped several times. While driving side by
side, at approximately 87 miles per hour, the cars collided.
The collision was so forceful that it lifted the
Equinox's tires off the pavement and caused it to run off
the road, slide onto soft ground, and strike a tree. As a
result of the impact, Robin sustained multiple blunt force
traumatic injuries, including one to her head which killed
her instantly. The accident occurred around 10:30 p.m.
The impact caused Gilman's vehicle to spin out of
control. His Impala came to rest approximately 129 feet from
Robin's. The Impala was facing the Equinox and had one
functioning headlight, which made Robin's vehicle visible
to Gilman. Neighbors tried to assist Robin before emergency
response arrived. However, Gilman exited the Impala and fled
the scene of the accident without rendering assistance to
Robin and before the police or emergency services arrived.
Gilman did not report the accident to the police. ...