from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Sheila A.
Carlisle, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 49G03-1701-F1-3202
Attorney for Appellant Valerie K. Boots Marion County Public
Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana.
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana., Lyubov Gore Deputy Attorney General
of the Case
Jermaine Jackson appeals his convictions for attempted
murder, a Level 1 felony; three counts of criminal
recklessness, as Level 6 felonies; and carrying a handgun
without a license, as a Class A misdemeanor, following a jury
trial. He presents a single issue for our review, namely,
whether the trial court abused its discretion when it
admitted evidence of his prior bad acts. We affirm.
and Procedural History
Jackson and Tranitra Tipton were previously married and had
two children together, A.J. and J.J. In January 2016, after
Jackson and Tipton had divorced, Tipton began dating Troy
Pollard, and they had a child together, N.P., who was born in
On November 11, 2016, Tipton dropped off A.J. and J.J. at
their daycare center, and Jackson was there. Jackson saw that
J.J.'s hair had been cut and asked Tipton who had cut it.
When Tipton told Jackson that Pollard had cut J.J.'s
hair, Jackson "got angry," yelled at Tipton,
threatened to beat her up, and threatened to "kill
[Pollard] if he touch[ed J.J.'s] hair again." Tr.
Vol. 2 at 239. Later that afternoon, when Tipton and Pollard
returned to the daycare center to pick up the children,
Jackson was there and confronted Pollard. Jackson began
threatening Pollard and said, "N****, I [will] kill
you." Id. at 241. Tipton called the police, and
Jackson left the scene with the children.
On January 20, 2017, Pollard, Tipton, A.J., J.J., and N.P.
arrived home at 9:45 p.m. after an evening out. They were
about to exit their minivan when Pollard saw a man running
towards him. As the man got closer, Pollard recognized the
man as Jackson. Jackson was wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt
that he often wore, and he was wearing black sweatpants and
black tennis shoes. When Jackson reached the minivan, he
fired a semi-automatic handgun at Pollard four or five times,
striking him twice in his chest and once in his back, near
his spine. Tipton saw that the shooter was Jackson before he
fled the scene, and she yelled, "That was
Jermaine." Id. at 230. Tipton then drove
Pollard to the hospital. On the way there, Pollard called his
mother and told her that Jackson had shot him.
At the hospital, officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan
Police Department ("IMPD") interviewed Pollard and
Tipton, who both identified Jackson as the shooter. Tipton
gave the officers Jackson's address and phone number, and
she gave them the address for Jackson's aunt living in
Chicago. When Pollard was released from the hospital, he,
Tipton, and the children went to Michigan to stay with
relatives, and they stayed there until Jackson was
apprehended at his aunt's house in Chicago on January 30.
In the course of their investigation, IMPD officers
discovered that Jackson's cell phone had
"pinged" two cell phone towers at 8:56 p.m. and
10:00 p.m. on January 20, at locations approximately fifteen
minutes and ten minutes away from the scene of the shooting,
respectively. Tr. Vol. 3 at 120.
The State charged Jackson with attempted murder, as a Level 1
felony; three counts of criminal recklessness, as Level 6
felonies; carrying a handgun without a license, as a Class A
misdemeanor; unlawful possession of a firearm by a domestic
batterer, a Class A misdemeanor; and invasion of privacy, as
a Class A misdemeanor. Prior to trial, the State filed a
notice of intent to introduce evidence of other crimes,
wrongs, or acts under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b), namely,
Jackson's threats to Pollard and Tipton in November 2016.
Following a hearing, the trial court granted the State
permission to introduce the Rule 404(b) evidence over
Jackson's objection. Also prior to trial, the court
dismissed the unlawful possession of a firearm by a domestic
batterer on the State's motion, and the court ordered
that the invasion of privacy charge would be severed and the
trial would be bifurcated. At trial, Jackson's defense
was that he was not the shooter. The first jury trial
resulted in a mistrial after the jury could not reach a
unanimous verdict. After the first phase of the second trial,
a jury found Jackson guilty of attempted murder, carrying a
handgun without a license, and three counts of criminal
recklessness. The State dismissed the invasion of privacy
count. The trial court entered judgment of conviction
accordingly and sentenced Jackson to an aggregate term of
thirty-five years executed. This appeal ensued.
Jackson contends that the trial court abused its discretion
when it admitted the evidence of threats he had made to
Pollard and Tipton in November 2016. Jackson maintains that
the "prior bad act evidence here was a single, isolated,
one-minute-long incident between [Jackson and Pollard],
occurring months before the charged offense."
Appellant's Br. at 14. And he asserts that "the
challenged evidence is not sufficiently probative of the two