Keenan J. P. Mardis, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Elkhart Circuit Court The Honorable Terry C.
Shewmaker, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 20C01-1502-MR-1
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Elizabeth A. Bellin Elkhart, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Michael Gene Worden Deputy Attorney General
of the Case
Keenan J.P. Mardis appeals his conviction for murder, a
felony, following a jury trial. Mardis raises the following
two issues for our review:
1. Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to support
2. Whether the trial court committed fundamental error when
it instructed the jury.
and Procedural History
On December 19, 2014, Mardis and others confronted Lenell
Williams and Ontario Brown on Wagner Avenue in Elkhart, near
the Washington Gardens apartments. One of Mardis'
companions, Zirei Jackson, began to fight with Brown. During
the fight, Mardis told Jackson to "take his belt when
you knock him out." Tr. Vol. I at 139-40. Brown was
wearing a designer belt worth about $300.
The fight between Jackson and Brown ended and the two groups
began to walk away from each other. But then Mardis
"came out of nowhere, " "pulled a revolver,
" and "told [Brown] to give him his belt."
Id. at 145. Brown refused. Mardis then shot Brown in
the head and killed him.
The State charged Mardis with murder, a felony. At his
ensuing jury trial, the court instructed the jury as follows,
without objection from Mardis' counsel:
Under the law of this state, a person charged with a crime is
presumed to be innocent. To overcome the presumption of
innocence, the State must prove the Defendant guilty of each