Attorney for Appellant Yvette M. LaPlante Keating &
LaPlante, LLP Evansville, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Ellen H. Meilaender Supervising Deputy Attorney
General Indianapolis, Indiana
from the Vanderburgh Superior Court The Honorable Robert J.
Pigman, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 82D03-1704-MR-1984
of the Case
Terrence Roach ("Roach") appeals his conviction
following a jury trial for Level 6 felony abuse of a
corpse. Specifically, Roach argues that there was
insufficient independent evidence of a crime or corpus
delicti to serve as a basis for the trial court to admit his
confession into evidence. However, because Roach failed to
object when the trial court admitted his confession into
evidence, Roach must establish fundamental error. Concluding
that Roach has failed to do so, we affirm his conviction.
Roach has established that fundamental error occurred when
the trial court admitted his confession into evidence.
In March 2017, Roach confessed to police that, in July 2016,
he had opened the window to nineteen-year-old severely
disabled A.B.'s ("A.B.") bedroom from the
outside and pulled A.B. out of the window. According to
Roach, he had then driven A.B. to an abandoned house, carried
her up to that house's attic, and placed her on a
mattress. Roach further admitted to the police that he had
wrapped duct tape around A.B.'s mouth to keep her quiet
when he left the house. Roach also explained to the police
that he had returned to the house to find Roach dead.
According to Roach, he believed that he had suffocated A.B.
with the duct tape. Roach also confessed that he had sexual
intercourse with A.B.'s corpse. Roach's DNA was found
on duct tape discovered next to A.B.'s body and also on a
cigarette butt found in the attic.
The State charged Roach with three counts of felony murder,
Level 2 felony burglary, Level 3 felony confinement, Level 3
felony kidnapping, and Level 6 felony abuse of a corpse. At
trial, Roach had "no objection" to the admission of
his recorded confession into evidence. (Tr. Vol. 2 at 24).
The jury convicted Roach of confinement and abuse of a
corpse, and Roach now appeals the abuse of a corpse
Roach's sole argument is that the trial court erred when
it admitted his confession to abuse of a corpse into evidence
because there was an insufficient corpus delicti. At the
outset, we note that Roach did not object at trial to the
admission of his confession into evidence. He has therefore
waived appellate review of this issue. See Palilonis v.
State, 970 N.E.2d 713, 730 (Ind.Ct.App. 2012) (holding
that failure to make a ...