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D.J. v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

November 30, 2017

D.J., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Petitioner.

         Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Marilyn Moores, Judge The Honorable Gary Chavers, Magistrate Trial Court Cause No. 49D09-1701-JD-6

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Michael Gene Worden Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorney for Appellant Elizabeth A. Houdek Indianapolis, Indiana

          ROBB, JUDGE.

         Case Summary and Issues

          [¶1] The juvenile court adjudicated D.J. a delinquent child for committing two counts of armed robbery and two counts of criminal confinement, all Level 3 felonies if committed by an adult. D.J. appeals his adjudication, raising two issues for our review: 1) whether his convictions for armed robbery and criminal confinement violate Indiana's constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy; and 2) whether the State presented sufficient evidence to support D.J.'s adjudication as a delinquent child. We conclude there is sufficient evidence to support the juvenile court's true findings D.J. committed armed robbery. We further conclude the juvenile court's true findings of criminal confinement violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Indiana Constitution. Accordingly, we affirm D.J.'s adjudication as a delinquent for armed robbery but reverse D.J.'s criminal confinement adjudications and remand to the juvenile court with instructions to vacate the true findings of criminal confinement.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On January 1, 2017, twelve-year-old R.R. and his family visited his grandmother at her apartment in Speedway, Indiana. Instead of playing cards with the adults, R.R., his twelve-year-old cousin D.M., and two friends ("Children") played outside for a while. Eventually, the Children resorted to loitering in the stairwell of the apartment building playing games on their cell phones.

         [¶3] As the Children played on their phones in the stairwell, two juveniles, one of whom was later identified as D.J., entered through the front door of the apartment building. A few seconds later, two other juveniles entered through the back door of the apartment building. One of the juveniles who entered through the back door instructed D.J. to check upstairs to see if anyone was around. D.J. followed his orders and informed him there was no one upstairs. That juvenile then told the Children, "I need your money [and] your phones . . . ." Transcript, Volume II at 14. R.R. responded he could not give him the phone because it belonged to his father, at which point the juvenile pulled out a gun and placed it on R.R.'s chest. R.R. complied and gave him the cell phone. He also pointed the gun at D.M.'s head and chest and took his phone. The four juveniles then fled from the apartment building.

         [¶4] The Children immediately ran upstairs to tell their parents what had happened. R.R.'s father went to search for the juveniles and encountered D.J. and the three other juveniles at a gas station a short distance away. When the police arrived, they detained D.J., determined he was unarmed, and released him. Shortly thereafter, R.R. and D.M. arrived and identified D.J., who was then placed under arrest.

         [¶5] The State filed a delinquency petition alleging D.J. committed two counts of armed robbery and two counts of criminal confinement, all Level 3 felonies if committed by an adult. At the fact-finding hearing, D.J. testified and acknowledged he was present during the robbery but denied taking part in it. He testified he was visiting his female cousin who lived in the apartment complex and had been walking to McDonald's when his cousin's boyfriend asked him to come with him into the stairwell. He further testified he did not know the two juveniles who committed the robbery. The juvenile court found the allegations to be true and adjudicated D.J. a delinquent child. D.J. now appeals.

         Discussion and Decision

         I. Double Jeopardy

         [¶6] D.J. first argues the juvenile court's true findings of armed robbery and criminal confinement violate Indiana's constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. The State responds alleging double jeopardy does not apply to multiple true findings in ...


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