from the St. Joseph Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
71D03-1708-MR-11 The Honorable Jeffrey L. Sanford, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Mark F. James Anderson Agostino &
Keller, PC South Bend, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Ellen H. Meilaender Deputy Attorney General
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Defendant, Joshua Sage (Sage), appeals his
conviction for two Counts of felony murder, Ind. Code
§§ 35-42-1-1(3)(B); 35-48-4-1.1.
We affirm. ISSUES
Sage presents two issues on appeal, which we restate as:
(1) Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it
admitted his statement made to police while he was
hospitalized for injuries sustained during the offenses; and
(2) Whether the State produced sufficient evidence to prove
the offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In the days preceding August 2, 2017, Jermon Gavin (JG)
contacted Ron Snyder (Snyder) to arrange the purchase of a
large amount of methamphetamine. Snyder, in turn, contacted
Sage, who agreed to supply approximately one and one-half
pounds of methamphetamine to sell to JG. Sage was to deliver
the drugs to Snyder's home located in the 2100 block of
Frederickson Street in South Bend, Indiana. Sage did not feel
at ease about the deal with JG from the beginning, and he
knew that it was necessary for his personal safety to be
armed when dealing in such a large quantity of
methamphetamine. Sage carried a Sig Sauer handgun. He also
arranged for his brother, Robert Brady (Brady), to accompany
him to Snyder's home to "have [his] back."
(Exhibit 135, Exh. Vol. I, Clip 3 at 10:30-:33). Sage
provided his brother with a Smith and Wesson handgun.
During the evening of August 2, 2017, Sage and Brady brought
the methamphetamine to Snyder's home. There were at least
nine other people present at Snyder's home that evening,
including Alyssa Sanchez (Izzy). Sage transported the
methamphetamine in a plastic grocery bag in which he also
stowed his own "bowl" used for smoking meth.
(Transcript Vol. 3, p. 76). Upon arriving, Sage and Brady
went to the basement of Snyder's home, where they
consumed methamphetamine. Either Brady or Sage armed Snyder
with a handgun.
Unbeknownst to them, JG and his associates, Jesus Pedraza
(Jesse) and Benito Pedraza (Benny), had decided to steal the
methamphetamine, so they armed themselves with handguns prior
to going to Snyder's home. As part of their plan, they
dropped off Damon Bethel (Bethel), who was also carrying a
handgun, in an alley near Snyder's home. JG and the
Pedraza brothers arrived at Snyder's home shortly before
midnight. While Benny remained in their car parked across the
street from Snyder's home, JG, Jesse, Sage, Brady and
Snyder convened in the attached garage of Snyder's home,
leaving the garage door open looking out onto Frederickson
Street. Sage produced the methamphetamine for JG and Jesse to
sample, inspect, and weigh. As the methamphetamine deal
unfolded, Anton James (James), pulled up in a white SUV in
front of Snyder's home. ...