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Richardson v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

July 6, 2017

Terrance L. Richardson, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Mark D. Stoner, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49G06-1510-MR-35635

          Attorney for Appellant Valerie K. Boots

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Caryn N. Szyper Deputy Attorney General

          Riley, Judge.

          STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellant-Defendant, Terrance L. Richardson (Richardson), appeals his conviction for murder, a felony, Ind. Code § 35-42-1-1.

         [¶2] We affirm. ISSUES

         [¶3] Richardson raises two issues for our review, which we restate as:

(1) Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it excluded a Facebook message from the evidence presented at trial; and
(2) Whether the State presented sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to rebut Richardson's claim of self-defense.

         FACTS[1] AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

          [¶4] On the afternoon of October 4, 2015, Richardson, and his three friends, Jalen Heffner (Heffner), Kaylend Gilbert (Gilbert), and Steven Kendall (Kendall)-all approximately seventeen years old-walked together to the New York Express convenience store, located at 2801 East New York Street-on the corner of Rural Street and New York Street-in Indianapolis, Indiana. Richardson and Gilbert entered the store, while Heffner and Kendall waited outside. After a short while, Kendall walked around the corner of the store, while Heffner sat on the curb in front of the store's entrance. A couple of seconds after Kendall walked around the corner, Richardson exited the store and joined Heffner on the curb; Gilbert remained inside, waiting in line at the cash register. When his purchase was complete, Gilbert joined Richardson and Heffner at the curb, just as Kendall turned the corner and walked towards them.

         [¶5] About a minute later, the group turned their attention to Rural Street as a black car pulled up. Richardson, Heffner, and Gilbert moved toward the vehicle and leaned into the passenger side window to start conversing with the occupant. Kendall hung back, remaining on the curb. Eventually, Kendall walked towards the vehicle and appeared to speak with the occupant. Then, Richardson, Gilbert, and Kendall moved away and began talking amongst themselves on the curb; Heffner remained at the vehicle. During the conversation, Kendall lifted his shirt with both hands and showed the other two a black item-appearing to be a gun-in the waistband of his pants. A couple of seconds later, Heffner shook hands with the occupant of the vehicle, which then drove away. All four talked briefly in front of the store, before walking away. Approximately thirty seconds later, Heffner and Richardson returned to the store. Upon entering, they immediately walked toward the back where Heffner reached in his right-hand pocket and handed Richardson a black object, which Richardson quickly pocketed in his jacket. The two then exited the store without making a purchase.

         [¶6] The four boys walked together to the parking lot behind the convenience store. Behind the store, Kendall stopped first. Richardson turned and walked back to Kendall, leaning down briefly with his hands on his knees. Richardson then faced Kendall and put his hand in his jacket. Heffner faced Kendall at the opposite side of Richardson. Richardson pulled out a gun and abruptly lunged at Kendall. ...


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