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,
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana George P. Sherman Deputy Attorney General
OF THE CASE
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).
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.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
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.
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.
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 ...