Jaqueline B. Walters, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
from the Morgan Superior Court The Honorable Brian Williams,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 55D02-1511-F3-1653
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Ryan P. Dillon Dillon Legal Group,
P.C. Franklin, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Evan M. Comer Deputy Attorney General
Jaqueline B. Walters appeals her conviction for Level 3
felony aiding, inducing, or causing armed
robbery. She presents two issues for our review
that we restate as:
1. Whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting
phone records from Verizon; and
2. Whether the State presented sufficient evidence Walters
aided, induced, or caused an armed robbery.
and Procedural History
Walters started working at the deli in the Morgantown IGA in
June 2015. On August 30, 2015, Walters and store manager
Wilma Floyd were scheduled to open the store. This required
both to be at the store an hour before the store opened to
customers. Floyd had the keys to get into the building and to
access the safe.
Walters' long-term boyfriend, Randall Shane Slaten,
dropped her off at the store. As Walters approached the door,
Floyd unlocked and opened the door for her, disarming the
alarm in the process. However, as Walters proceeded through
the door, a male with a gun (hereinafter, "the
Robber") pushed Walters and entered the store. Floyd
attempted to push the Robber back through the door but was
unsuccessful. Floyd and the Robber scuffled. Eventually, the
Robber's gun went off. No one was shot, but Floyd then
The Robber instructed Floyd and Walters to take him to the
safe. The store surveillance system was able to record much
of the interaction. Floyd led the Robber to the room in which
the safe was. However, during the scuffle, she had dropped
her keys and could not enter the room. The Robber instructed
Walters to retrieve the keys. Walters complied.
Floyd opened the room to the safe and, subsequently, the safe
and cabinets in that room. The Robber stole approximately $6,
000.00. Before he left, the Robber had Walters put zip ties
around Floyd's wrists. The Robber tightened Floyd's
zip ties and then put zip ties around Walters' wrists,
too. The Robber patted Floyd down for a cell phone and ripped
the land line phone from the wall. The Robber then left.
Floyd had Walters cut her zip ties from her wrists and then
Floyd freed Walters. Floyd had secreted a small flip phone in
her pocket that the Robber did not find. Floyd called 911 and
officers quickly arrived. She also called the owner of the
store, Randy Wood.
Morgantown Police Officer Jeffrey Jackson arrived at the
scene first. He found a hat worn by the Robber and a magazine
for a gun. Morgan County Sheriff's Department Detective
Mark Anderson arrived and interviewed the women separately.
On September 1, 2015, Detective Anderson requested Walters
give a more detailed interview. When she did not arrive at
the station on time, both Morgantown Police Marshal Marvin
McGregor and Detective Anderson called to verify she was
still planning to attend. Walters explained she was running
late but would be there soon.
After Walters gave the detailed interview, Detective Anderson
believed Walters' account of the events was inconsistent
with what she had previously reported and with the video
surveillance. He noted the video showed Walters was
frequently not under direct control of the Robber. In the
second interview, Walters said she "saw the robber cock
the gun as they were going down the hallway[, ]" (Tr.
Vol. 3 at 122), but she had not indicated she had seen that
in the first interview.
When the interview was complete, Detective Anderson asked
Walters for her phone and whether he could look through it.
Walters told Detective Anderson that Slaten had lost it.
Slaten indicated Walters still had it. The phone was never
produced. Detective Anderson "sent a preservation
letter[, ]" (Tr. Vol. 3 at 129), to put a hold on the
Verizon phone records for the number Walters said she shared
with her boyfriend (hereinafter, "6065 Phone").
Detective Anderson explained this action preserves "all
of the phone records that they have up to that point, text
messages, and everything[.]" (Id.)
Detective Anderson sought and received a search warrant for
the Verizon records for the phone. Because he had requested
Verizon preserve the account, Detective Anderson also
received the text message records for the time frame
surrounding the robbery date. Therein, one number was
repeatedly texted. The text of the messages between 6065
Phone and that number discussed a plan to rob the IGA.
Officer Jackson determined the phone number belonged to John
Nocito. Nocito was the long-term boyfriend of Slaten's
sister. Detective Anderson obtained a DNA swab from Nocito,
and his DNA matched the DNA found on the cap dropped by the
Robber at the store.
The State charged Walters with aiding, inducing, or causing
an armed robbery. A jury trial held in July 2016 resulted in
a hung jury. A second jury trial was scheduled for March 6-8,
2018. Prior to the second jury trial, the State filed a
motion for an evidentiary hearing as they planned on
advancing a theory of conspiracy between Walters, Slaten, and
Nocito. The State wished the text messages to be deemed
statements of coconspirators so the statements would not be
[¶13] On July 13, 2017, at the
evidentiary hearing, the State requested the trial court take
judicial notice of the evidence presented during Slaten and
Nocito's trials i.e., the cell phone records
from Verizon. Walters objected because she had not been
present during those trials to "make any objections of
her own[.]" (Tr. Vol. 2 at 4.) She conceded the trial
court could "take judicial notice that that trial
occurred and certain evidence was presented" but not as
to whether it was admissible against her. (Id.) The
trial court agreed regarding the admissibility but said,
"I think we're talking about whether or not and how
evidence is presented here to me today regarding the
existence or nonexistence of conspiracy." (Id.
at 5.) The trial court took judicial notice of the Verizon
cell phone records containing the text messages.
When Detective Anderson started to testify regarding the
contents of the text messages, Walters objected as no
foundation had been laid regarding the inception of the text
message records. The trial court, reading from the evidence
rules, indicated the "rules are inapplicable to other
than respect to privileges[, ]" (id. at 7), and
do not apply to "preliminary, questions of fact, the
determination of questions of fact preliminary to the
admissibility of evidence and the issues to be determined by
the Court under rule 104 A [sic]." (Id.)
Walters withdrew her objection.
In support of its conspiracy theory, the State presented
evidence the text messages referenced stealing a sum of money
that was "consistent with the amount of money
taken[.]" (Id. at 8.) The text messages
indicate Nocito would be "working with my girl named
Jackie." (Id.) The messages indicate the days
Walters worked and that the robbery needed to occur on a day
she was working. The messages indicate the writer of the
messages would need to get more information from Walters
about the best day to rob the store. Additionally, the State
presented evidence Walters' statements to the police had
been inconsistent with what was shown on the video and
Walters had been complicit in hiding the 6065 Phone from the
police. Finally, the State argued Walters' insistence
that Slaten ...