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Gibson v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

October 2, 2018

Jason Michael Gibson, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the St. Joseph Superior Court The Honorable Jane Woodward Miller, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 71D01-1706-F3-37

          Attorney for Appellant Amy D. Griner Mishawaka, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana, Ellen H. Meilaender Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          NAJAM, JUDGE.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] Jason Michael Gibson appeals his convictions for robbery, as a Level 3 felony, and conspiracy to commit robbery, as a Level 3 felony, following a jury trial. He presents the following issues for our review:

1. Whether the trial court committed fundamental error when it entered judgment of conviction for conspiracy to commit robbery.
2. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted into evidence his inculpatory statements to law enforcement.
3. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted the testimony of an eight-year-old witness.
4. Whether his convictions violate Indiana's prohibition against double jeopardy.
5. Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it sentenced him. .

         [¶2] We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] On May 29, 2017, Tyshawn Owens was babysitting Talanda Peck's five children at her home in South Bend. Peck was gone overnight, and Owens invited his friends Gibson and Shayla Brazier to spend the night. After Gibson and Brazier left on the morning of May 30, they met with Deangelo Dove and Deziara Parker and discussed robbing Peck's house.

         [¶4] At approximately 11:00 a.m. that morning, Dove entered Peck's house, and within a few minutes someone disabled a video surveillance system at the house. Two of Peck's daughters, including T.O., were in Peck's bedroom when Dove, who had a gun, found them and tied them up using duct tape. At some point, one of the perpetrators used duct tape to tie up Owens. Gibson, Dove, and Parker then stole from the home televisions, a computer, an iPad, a cell phone, a vacuum cleaner, and tennis shoes. A neighbor, Michael Griffin, saw a blue Buick with front-end damage parked in Peck's backyard during the time of the robbery. And Griffin saw that car drive away shortly before Peck's daughters and Owens, who were able to get out of the duct tape bindings, came to his house and told him they had just been robbed. At some point, T.O. went to a nearby store and called police to report the robbery.

         [¶5] Later that evening, Officer Scott Gutierrez with the South Bend Police Department was on patrol when he saw a blue Buick with front-end damage, which he knew matched the description of the car used in the robbery earlier that day. Officer Gutierrez followed the car until it stopped at a gas station, where he initiated a traffic stop. He questioned the female driver, Caprice Guidan, and the passenger, Parker, and he conducted a search of the car. Officer Gutierrez found an ATM card belonging to Dove in the back passenger seat.

         [¶6] In the meantime, Officer James Taylor questioned Gibson at the police station.[1] Gibson told Officer Taylor that he and Dove had made a plan to rob Peck's house, that Dove had committed the robbery, and that the stolen items could be found at Guidan's house. Officers later found several of the stolen items there.

         [¶7] On June 5, 2017, the State charged Gibson with three counts of robbery, as Level 3 felonies. On December 15, the State amended the information to add a fourth count, conspiracy to commit robbery, as a Level 3 felony. And in January 2018, the State moved to amend the three robbery charges "to allege that [Gibson] Aided, Induced, or Caused another person in committing [sic] the robberies against Tyshawn Owens and the two minor children" on May ...


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