Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Shultz v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 7, 2018

Makenzie D. Shultz, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

          Appeal from the Tippecanoe Superior Court The Honorable Randy J. Williams, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 79D01-1606-F1-10

          Attorney for Appellant Bruce W. Graham Graham Law Firm P.C. Lafayette, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Chandra K. Hein Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          MAY, JUDGE.

         [¶1] Makenzie D. Shultz appeals following her convictions of Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death, [1] Level 3 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, [2] Class A misdemeanor false informing, [3] Class A misdemeanor failure to report a dead body, [4] Level 6 felony obstruction of justice, [5] and two counts of Level 6 felony perjury.[6] Shultz argues she was subjected to double jeopardy, there is insufficient evidence to support her conviction of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and her sentence is inappropriate. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On Monday, November 16, 2015, Shultz went to check on her daughter B.G., who was allegedly napping. B.G. was dead. Shultz and her boyfriend, Chad Giroux Jr., who is the father of B.G., asked Lauren Mood, Giroux's sister who was visiting, to drive them to the hospital.

         [¶3] At the hospital, Dr. Andrew Alaimo attempted to treat B.G., who had no heartbeat and was very thin with little muscle tone. Dr. Alaimo quickly realized that B.G. had been dead for "quite some time." (Tr. Vol. II at 58.) B.G.'s body was at room temperature and she appeared emaciated. B.G.'s skin was green and smelled of decomposition. Dr. Aliamo estimated B.G. had been dead for two days.

         [¶4] Deputy Coroner Mary Jasheway investigated B.G.'s death. She noted the pattern imprinted on B.G.'s face matched the blanket she was brought in with and opined that white marks on B.G.'s nose indicated something pushed her nose up. During the autopsy, Dr. Allan Griggs noted many signs B.G. had been neglected. Dr. Griggs concluded B.G. was dehydrated, constipated, and malnourished. Dr. Griggs deduced B.G. had been dead for longer than twenty-four hours and her cause of death was asphyxiation.

         [¶5] Detective Daniel Long met with Giroux and Shultz separately. Detective Long noticed their stories did not match, so he went to the Shultz and Giroux home to investigate. Detective Long noted B.G. had slept in a downstairs closet in a bed made of blankets stacked on the floor. There was no baby monitor in the closet. Giroux told Detective Long that, on multiple occasions, he had found B.G. in the closet with blankets or clothing over her face. Giroux thought this was being done to muffle B.G.'s crying. Giroux later confessed to Detective Long that B.G. had died Sunday, November 15, 2015.[7] Giroux admitted he and Shultz agreed to find B.G. dead when Mood was present and to react like it just happened.

         [¶6] At trial, a jury found Shultz guilty of all crimes charged: Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death, Level 3 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, Level 5 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, [8] Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent, [9] Class A misdemeanor false informing, Class A misdemeanor failure to report a dead body, and Level 6 felony obstruction of justice. Shultz then pled guilty to two counts of Level 6 felony perjury. The trial court merged the findings of Level 5 felony neglect and Level 6 felony neglect with the Level 3 felony neglect. The court imposed a forty-four-year sentence with four years suspended to probation.

         Discussion and Decision

         Double Jeopardy

         [¶7]Shultz argues her convictions of Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death and Level 3 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury violate her constitutional right to be free from double jeopardy. See Ind. Const. art. 1, § 14 ("No person shall be put in jeopardy twice for the same offense."). Two offenses are the "same offense" in violation of Indiana's Double Jeopardy Clause if, with respect to either the statutory elements of the challenged crimes or the actual evidence used to convict, the essential elements of one challenged offense also establish the essential elements of another challenged offense. Spivey v. State, 761 N.E.2d 831, 832 (Ind. 2002). We review de novo whether a defendant's convictions violate this provision. Spears v. State, 735 N.E.2d 1161, 1166 (Ind. 2000), reh'g denied.

         [¶8] Shultz claims her convictions violate the "actual evidence test." The actual evidence test requires us to "determine whether each challenged offense was established by separate and distinct facts." Richardson v. State, 717 N.E.2d 32, 53 (Ind. 1999), holding modified by Garrett v. State, 992 N.E.2d 710 (Ind. 2013) (modification as to cases involving hung jury or acquittal). To determine what facts were used to convict, we consider the charging information, the final jury instructions, the evidence, and the arguments of counsel. Davis v. State, 770 N.E.2d 319, 324 (Ind. 2002), reh'g denied.

         [¶9] In order to convict Shultz of either version of neglect, the State needed to prove Shultz was:

A person having the care of a dependent, whether assumed voluntarily or because of a legal obligation, who knowingly or intentionally: (1) place[d] the dependent in a situation that endanger[ed] the dependent's life or health; (2) abandon[ed] or cruelly confine[d] the dependent; [or] (3) deprive[d] the dependent of necessary support . . . .

Ind. Code § 35-46-1-4(a) (2014) (defining neglect as a Level 6 felony). To convict Shultz of neglect as a Level 1 felony, the State also had to prove Shultz was "at least eighteen years of age" and the neglect "result[ed] in the death of a dependent who [was] less than fourteen (14) years of age." I.C. § 34-46-1-4(b)(3) (2014). To convict Shultz of neglect as a Level 3 felony, the State had to prove Level 6 felony neglect that resulted in serious bodily injury. I.C. § 34-46-1-4(b)(2) (2014).

         [¶10] Shultz was not formally charged in this case. Instead, she was indicted by a grand jury. The indictments were vague and mentioned only the elements of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.