from the St. Joseph Superior Court The Honorable Elizabeth C.
Hurley, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 71D08-1509-F6-692
Attorney for Appellant Brendan K. Lahey
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr., Lyubov Gore
Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Appellant-Defendant, Ludina R. Wallace (Wallace), appeals her
conviction for criminal recklessness, a Class A misdemeanor,
Ind. Code § 35-42-2-2.
Wallace raises one issue on appeal, which we restate as
follows: Whether the trial court abused its discretion by
admitting the recording of a 9-1-1 call into evidence.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On August 16, 2015, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Deja Cline
(Cline) went to a gas station to purchase gasoline for her
friend's vehicle. In addition to her friend, Cline was
accompanied by her toddler. At the same time, Michael Jackson
(Jackson), was at the gas station. Jackson and Cline were
previously in a relationship, and Jackson is the father of
Cline's toddler. For some reason, Jackson removed the
child from Cline's vehicle, placed the child in his
vehicle, and drove away. Upset by Jackson's actions,
Cline called Jackson, and the two argued about his removal of
their child from her vehicle. Cline informed him that she was
on her way to his house, located at 1043 North Adams Street
in South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana, to pick up the
Upon arrival at Jackson's house, Cline "parked in
the middle of the street basically kind of close to the curb
but not parking actually. So in the middle of the
street." (Tr. Vol. II, p. 9). Cline observed that, in
addition to Jackson and their son, Jackson's
ex-girlfriend-Wallace-was also present. Cline and Jackson
engaged in a "verbal altercation." (Tr. Vol. II, p.
10). At some point, supposedly after Wallace interjected that
Cline and Jackson should not be fighting as they were in
front of the child, Wallace also became involved in an
argument with Cline. The exchange of "obscenities and
profanities" between Cline and Wallace intensified to
the point where Cline "was angry enough to say that
[she] would do something to [Wallace's] vehicle."
(Tr. Vol. II, pp. 12, 24). Cline claimed that she threatened
to "kick" Wallace's vehicle. (Tr. Vol. II, p.
12). According to Wallace, however, Cline said she was
"going to tear that B [sic] car up." (Tr.
Vol. II, p. 62).
Wallace and Cline offered drastically different accounts as
to what occurred next, but it is undisputed that Wallace
withdrew her .380 semiautomatic handgun and fired multiple
shots. Wallace claimed that Cline, after running toward
Wallace's vehicle, turned around and was holding a small
paring knife. Upon seeing the knife, Wallace purportedly
removed her pistol from her hip holster but did not point it
at Cline. Instead, Wallace stated that she asked Cline to
move away from her vehicle because she "just wanted to
take [her] car and leave." (Tr. Vol. II, p. 63).
However, Cline "began to charge towards [Wallace]."
(Tr. Vol. II, p. 63). In response, Wallace stated that she
"started running backwards and . . . started shooting at
the ground . . . to stop [Cline]." (Tr. Vol. II, p. 64).
Even after Wallace ran back to her vehicle and tried to drive
away, she claims that Cline "came from around the back
of the car and [Cline] swiped towards [Wallace, ] and
[Wallace] leaned over avoiding her swipe." (Tr. Vol. II,
p. 65). It was at that point that Wallace pointed the firearm
at Cline and asked that Cline let her leave, all the while
ignoring Cline's attempts to goad her into fighting. When
she was finally able to do so, Wallace claims that she drove
away. On the other hand, Cline described that she was never
in possession of a knife or any other weapon, and she denied
that she ever charged at or approached Wallace. Rather,
according to Cline, after she threatened to kick
Wallace's vehicle and Wallace saw that Cline was
approaching her vehicle, Wallace shot her gun into the air
multiple times before pointing the gun in Cline's
direction and firing several more shots, one of which grazed
During this confrontation, Jackson had removed the child from
his vehicle and placed the child in the front seat of
Cline's vehicle. Jackson then inexplicably removed
Cline's keys from the ignition and threw them onto a
neighbor's roof. Jackson also called 9-1-1. Although most
of the recorded 9-1-1 call is unintelligible due to a
significant amount of yelling in the background, at the
beginning of the call, Jackson provided the dispatcher with
his address and reported that there is a "girl in the
middle of the street, baby in the front seat . . . trying to
fight another girl." (State's Exh. 1). After yelling
at someone on the scene to "get your ass outta my van,
" Jackson instructed the dispatcher, "You need to
get here, hurry up." (State's Exh. 1). Despite the
subsequent repeated efforts of the dispatcher to glean
information, such as whether anyone was in possession of a
weapon, Jackson did not further respond. However, Jackson did
not hang up. Thus, in the recording, Jackson can be heard
yelling at someone to "do ...