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Hill v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

January 17, 2018

Casey L. Hill, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

         Appeal from the Jennings Circuit Court, The Honorable Jonathan W. Webster, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 40C01-1701-F6-1

          Attorney for Appellant Jennifer A. Joas Madison, Indiana

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

          ALTICE, JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] Casey L. Hill appeals his conviction for Level 6 felony intimidation. On appeal, he contends that the trial court admitted evidence of his subsequent bad acts in violation of Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b).

         [¶2] We affirm.

         Facts & Procedural History

         [¶3] Hill began a relationship with Jennifer Malott in 1999. They lived together for a number of years and have two children together. Malott moved out with the children in the fall of 2015 after Hill battered her. Thereafter, Malott and Hill continued to see each other occasionally and even lived together again for a few months in 2016. Hill's physical abuse of Malott escalated during this time from hitting to "choking, knives, being held at gunpoint." Transcript Vol. 2 at 159. Malott's tactic became trying to calm Hill down and do what he wanted when he became upset with her.

         [¶4] In December 2016, Hill was living with friends - the Miller family - in Danville, and Malott and the children were living with her cousin in Hayden. At Hill's urging, Malott made arrangements so that Hill could spend time with the children at Christmas. They stayed together with the children at a hotel in Greenwood from December 24 through December 26. When Malott received a message on her phone on Christmas morning, Hill became jealous and demanded to see the phone. Malott refused, resulting in Hill holding a knife to her and throwing her against a wall. Despite this, Malott drove Hill and the children to Danville that evening to visit with the Millers. An argument broke out between Hill and Malott on the Millers' front porch at some point that evening. A neighbor called the police believing that Hill struck Malott. After the police came and went, the Millers informed Hill that he could no longer live with them. Malott, Hill, and the children returned to the hotel.

         [¶5] After checking out on the morning of December 26, Malott drove Hill back to Danville. They waited for several hours because Hill was locked out of the Millers' residence. Malott eventually drove Hill to his half-brother Richard Sealy's home in Commiskey. Richard and his wife Suzanne observed that Hill was in an agitated state when he arrived that evening. Malott briefly informed Richard of the recent abuse while Hill was outside retrieving his belongings from the vehicle. Richard asked Hill later about the abuse, and Hill indicated that nothing had happened.

         [¶6] As Malott drove back to Hayden that night with the children, Hill began calling and arguing with her on the phone. Eventually, Malott stopped answering her phone. Hill then sent Malott the follow text messages:

[9:31 p.m.] I see you don't have anything to talk to me ...

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