from the Floyd Superior Court The Honorable Susan D. Orth,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 22D01-1711-F5-2392
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Matthew J. McGovern Anderson, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Ellen H. Meilaender Deputy Attorney General
Brian Ramsey appeals his convictions for criminal
confinement, a Level 5 felony, and intimidation, a Level 6
felony. We affirm.
Ramsey raises two issues on appeal, which we restate as
Whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting
Whether sufficient evidence supports Ramsey's conviction
During the relevant period, Rhonda Crone ("Rhonda")
and her husband, Bruce Crone ("Bruce"), separated,
and Rhonda began dating Ramsey. From November 4 to November
11, 2017, Ramsey and Rhonda were live-in guests of
Rhonda's niece, Cassandra Butcher (a.k.a. Cassandra
Crone), in Cassandra's Floyd County apartment. During the
visit, Cassandra accused Rhonda of having an affair with
Cassandra's husband. Ramsey became angry and beat Rhonda
viciously over the ensuing three or four days.
On November 10, 2017, a neighbor overheard the commotion and
called the police. When responding police officers knocked at
the door, Ramsey kept Rhonda and Cassandra in a bathroom and
would not allow them to answer the door. At one point, Ramsey
left the apartment; however, before he left, Ramsey told
Rhonda and Cassandra that he would kill their children if
they left the apartment.
On November 11, 2017, Rhonda's brother, James Clemons,
became concerned because he had not heard from Rhonda, could
not reach her on her cell phone, and had not seen any online
activity from her in nearly two weeks. Clemons looked for
Rhonda at her son's house and then contacted Bruce. Bruce
told Clemons that Rhonda was visiting Cassandra. Clemons and
Bruce went to Cassandra's apartment together. When they
arrived, Ramsey was not there. Rhonda and Cassandra were
"terrified." Tr. Vol. I p. 118. Rhonda was so badly
battered that Clemons did not recognize her and "thought
all of her bones in her face w[ere] broke[n]."
Id. at 114. Rhonda told Clemons that Ramsey had
beaten her. Rhonda was afraid to be there when Ramsey
returned. Clemons called the police.
Officer Tim Wells of the New Albany Police Department was
among the officers who responded to the scene. Rhonda and
Cassandra reported that Ramsey held them against their will
for four days and had threatened to harm their children if
Rhonda and Cassandra left the apartment. Officer Wells
observed that Rhonda exhibited "behavior . . . of
someone that had, to me, had been through a traumatic ordeal
and she was very upset and almost to the point of [being]
inconsolable"; Rhonda was "visibly shaken [and]
nervous" and had "[e]xtremely severe"
injuries, including black eyes, facial bruises and fractures,
and significant bruising all over her body. Id. at
pp. 143, 158. Rhonda was transported to Floyd Memorial
Hospital, where she remained admitted for three days; she was
then transferred to an Indianapolis hospital for an
additional three or four days. Cassandra appeared uninjured.
Officer Wells interviewed Rhonda at the hospital. Rhonda
again reported that Ramsey accused her of infidelity; beat
her over a three-day span; destroyed her phone when she tried
to call the police; stopped her from speaking with responding
police on November 10, 2017; prevented both Rhonda and
Cassandra from leaving Cassandra's apartment; and
threatened to harm Rhonda's and Cassandra's children
if they left the apartment.
Officer Wells later returned to Cassandra's apartment and
found Ramsey there. Ramsey maintained that Rhonda was lying;
he denied hitting or confining Rhonda or Cassandra, breaking
Rhonda's phone, and preventing Rhonda and Cassandra from
speaking to the police. He also denied threatening
Rhonda's and Cassandra's children and implied that
Rhonda's injuries were self-inflicted. Ramsey conceded
that he might have injured Rhonda in his efforts to protect
her from self-harming and implicated Cassandra as the
On November 13, 2017, the State charged Ramsey with various
offenses stemming from the attack on Rhonda. The State
subsequently amended the information to reflect the following
charges: Count I, criminal confinement, a Level 5 felony;
Count II, domestic battery, a Level 6 felony; Count III,
intimidation, a Level 6 felony; Count IV, interference with
the reporting of a crime, a Class A misdemeanor; and Count V,
a habitual offender enhancement.
At the final pretrial conference in January 2018, the State
reported that, in a departure from her initial cooperative
behavior, Cassandra was now "acting differently, not
being responsive to the [State's] phone calls, changed
[her] number and didn't, uh, give [ ] an update and ha[d]
not been responsive to visits to her address by [police]
investigators." Id. at 18. Also, the State
advised the trial court that multiple agencies had tried and
failed to find Cassandra. Days before trial, Rhonda recanted
her previous statements implicating Ramsey.
The trial court conducted Ramsey's jury trial on February
19 and 20, 2018. The State's witnesses testified to the
foregoing facts. When the State moved to admit Rhonda's
medical records, defense counsel objected. The State argued
that Rhonda's statements that Ramsey had threatened to
harm her children were allowable under the hearsay exception
for statements made for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Counsel for the State argued:
It's very clear in the rule of 803(4), [ ] a statement
made by a person seeking medical diagnosis or treatment, and
it is made reasonably pertinent to medical diagnosis or
treatment, and describes the medical history, past or present
symp-symptoms. Right, it is, [ ] they're attempting to
treat her, but that's the theory behind it. If you're
asking a patient what happened to you, we're trying to
Id. at 131. Defense counsel objected to narrative
aspects of the medical records on the grounds that the
narratives contained irrelevant information; the defense was
"unable to cross examine any person who observed that or
put that into the notes into the record"; and because
the narratives "read more like a probable cause
affidavit" than guidance to medical service
providers. Id. at 127. In discussing the
admissibility of the narratives, defense counsel and the
trial court engaged in the following exchange:
[Defense counsel]: [ ] I don't believe she talked about
being separated. I know that Mr. Clemons said, but not Ms.
Crone. [S]he did say that she was staying at her
niece[']s. [ ] I don't see her being unemployed and
no source of income has any baring [sic] or relevance on her
injuries or how she had been diagnosed or how that's
helpful. [A]nd again, what-what the medical personnel should
be concerned with and for that, for evidentiary purposes of
substantiating her injury (about three words
THE COURT: Well, I-I agree that how an injury occurred, how
old an injury is, how length of time it-it occurred over are
all things that are relevant and I think this all goes--
[Defense counsel]: I mean . . . .
THE COURT: --toward that assessment. . . .[S]o let me, [ ]
overrule your objection to that extent, but what I'm
looking at right now is in narrative number 4. I'm still
struggling with that.
[Defense counsel]: Right. I believe that's not relevant.
[Counsel for the State]: We can redact narrative number
Id. at 131-32.
The State then introduced Rhonda's medical records that
described Rhonda's "[h]istory of ...