Andy A. Shinnock, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Delaware Circuit Court, The Honorable Kimberly S.
Attorney for Appellant Jack Quirk
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr., J.T. Whitehead
Deputy Attorney General
Sharpnack, Senior Judge
of the Case
[¶1] Andy A. Shinnock appeals his
conviction of bestiality, a Level 6 felony. We reverse and
Shinnock's sole issue on appeal is whether the trial
court erred by admitting his confession because the
State's evidence did not establish the corpus delicti of
and Procedural History
In August 2015, Shinnock resided with Paul Moore and
Moore's two dogs in Muncie. One morning when Moore
returned home from work, he called the dogs, but they did not
respond. Moore called the dogs a second time, and only the
male dog responded. Moore noticed dog feces on the floor and
dog food scattered about. He then called for the female dog
by name. When she still did not respond, Moore opened the
door of Shinnock's bedroom. The female dog ran out of the
bedroom and went under the couch. Moore noticed that Shinnock
was wearing boxer shorts and a t-shirt and had an erection.
Moore confronted Shinnock who admitted to attempting to have
sex with Moore's dog. Moore then called the police. When
the investigating officer arrived and questioned Shinnock,
Shinnock admitted to having sex with the dog.
Based upon this incident, the State charged Shinnock with
bestiality. A bench trial was held, at which defense counsel
objected several times. During Moore's testimony, defense
counsel objected to the admission of Shinnock's statement
to Moore based upon the lack of corpus delicti. The court
overruled the objection. Defense counsel then asked for a
continuing objection due to the lack of corpus delicti.
Although the court overruled the objection, it granted
defense counsel's request for the record to show a
continuing objection. Defense counsel also objected on the
basis of lack of corpus delicti to Exhibits 7, 8 and 9, which
are recordings of Shinnock's confession to Moore,
Moore's 911 call, and Shinnock's confession to the
investigating officer, respectively. These objections were
also overruled by the court. Defense counsel again lodged a
corpus delicti objection to the testimony of the
investigating officer concerning Shinnock's statement to
him, and, as before, the court overruled the objection. The
trial court found Shinnock guilty but mentally ill. He now
appeals this conviction.
[¶5] The trial court is afforded wide
discretion in ruling on the admissibility of evidence.
Nicholson v. State, 963 N.E.2d 1096, 1099 (Ind.
2012). On appeal, evidentiary decisions are reviewed for
abuse of discretion and are reversed only when the decision
is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and
In Indiana, a person may not be convicted of a crime based
solely on a nonjudicial confession of guilt. Green v.
State, 159 Ind.App. 68, 304 N.E.2d 845, 848 (1973).
Rather, independent proof of the corpus delicti is required
before the defendant may be convicted upon a nonjudicial
confession. Id. Proof of the corpus delicti means
"proof that the specific crime charged has actually been
committed by someone." Walker v. State, 249
Ind. 551, 233 N.E.2d 483, 488 (1968). Thus, admission of a
confession requires some independent evidence of commission
of the crime charged. Workman v. State, 716 N.E.2d
445, 447 (Ind. 1999). The independent evidence need not prove
that a crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt but
merely provide an inference that the crime charged was
committed. Malinski v. State, 794 N.E.2d 1071, 1086
(Ind. 2003). The purpose of the corpus delicti rule is to
prevent the admission of a confession to a crime which never
occurred. Hurt v. State, 570 N.E.2d 16, 19 (Ind.
1991). Further, we note that the order of the ...