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Bowman v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 29, 2017

Dominique Brianna Bowman, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Lake Superior Court The Honorable Samuel L. Cappas, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 45G04-1508-F3-39

          Attorney for Appellant Kristin A. Mulholland Crown Point, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana George P. Sherman Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Riley, Judge.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellant-Defendant, Dominique Brianna Bowman (Bowman), appeals her conviction for Count I, aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony, Ind. Code § 35-42-2-1.5(2); and Count II, battery resulting in serious bodily harm, a Level 5 felony, I.C. § 35-42-2-1(b)(1);-(f)(1).

         [¶2] We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶3] Bowman raises one issue on appeal, which we restate as follows: Whether the trial court properly permitted the victim to remove her prosthetic in the presence of the jury.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         [¶4] During the early evening of July 23, 2015, Crystal Washington (Washington), together with her sister, Angela Washington (Angela), and their friends, Melvin Quinn (Quinn) and Janice Allen (Allen), were relaxing in the shade of a tree at Allen's house in Gary, Indiana. In the course of the evening, Angela's son and daughter, Bowman, stopped by. After Bowman exited the vehicle, Angela asked Bowman why she had been smoking marijuana in Angela's house. Bowman replied, "I don't give a fuck. Auntie Crystal acts like this is her house anyway." (Transcript pp. 92, 31-32). Washington "got out of the chair, [and] walked around to the car because [Bowman] was being disrespectful to [her] and [her] sister." (Tr. p. 58). Washington and Bowman began "tussling and wrestling." (Tr. p. 32). Angela, Allen, and Quinn broke up the fight.

         [¶5] After the altercation was broken up, Washington walked back toward Allen's residence while Bowman went to the car and grabbed "some kind of object, " that appeared to have been made of iron. (Tr. p. 34). Bowman struck Washington in the eye with the item. Washington started bleeding profusely and fell to the ground. Quinn took off his shirt and used it in an attempt to stop the bleeding. When Washington reached the hospital, the doctors determined that her left eye had ruptured and needed to be removed.

         [¶6] On August 25, 2015, the State filed an Information, charging Bowman with Count I, aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony, and Count II, battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 5 felony. On April 4 and 5, 2016, the trial court conducted a jury trial. During the proceedings, the trial court admitted, without objection, a photograph of Washington's injury upon her initial hospitalization. The State subsequently requested permission for Washington to remove her prosthetic eye in the presence of the jury to demonstrate "the injury that was suffered[.]" (Tr. p. 38). Bowman objected and the trial court conducted a bench conference, during which the following colloquy occurred:

[TRIAL COURT]: You know what I think I should do, after thinking about this and listening to this, excuse the jury and look and see how it appears to me before I ...

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