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Martin v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

October 11, 2019

Kameron Wesley Martin, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court Cause No. 49G06-1604-MR-13185 The Honorable Mark D. Stoner, Judge

          Attorney for Appellant Darren Bedwell Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Samantha M. Sumcad Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          ALTICE, JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] A jury found Kameron Martin guilty of, among other things, murder and robbery as a Level 2 felony, elevated based on the serious bodily injury sustained by the murder victim when he was shot and killed. To avoid a double jeopardy violation, the trial court entered the robbery conviction as a Level 3 felony rather than a Level 2 felony. On appeal, Martin argues that the robbery conviction should have been reduced to a Level 5 felony because the use of a deadly weapon element, relied upon by the trial court as the basis for the Level 3 felony, was not found by the jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

         [¶2] We vacate the sentence for Level 3 felony robbery and remand for sentencing on Level 5 felony robbery.

         Facts & Procedural History

         [¶3] On the evening of March 11, 2016, Martin and Anthony Breaziel planned the robbery of a liquor store a few blocks away from Martin's residence in Indianapolis. Martin and Breaziel, both armed with handguns, left the residence with Corey Spurlock. An unidentified woman drove them to the liquor store and stayed outside waiting in the car.

         [¶4] The three men entered the liquor store around 1:45 a.m. on March 12, wearing masks and hoods, and quickly dispersed throughout the store. There were two employees, Walter Woods and Diana Montgomery, and the owner, Joe Klein, inside. Spurlock went behind the counter, while Breaziel approached Montgomery who was stocking shelves. He pointed his gun at her and requested that she open the safe. Because she could not access the safe, Breaziel directed her to the register to open the cash drawer.

         [¶5] In the meantime, Martin went into the back office where Klein was working at his desk. Martin quickly pocketed a revolver that Klein had on the desk and then pointed his own gun at Klein, who raised his hands and stood up. Martin backed out of the office as Klein followed at gunpoint as directed. When he reached the door, however, Klein tried to close the door between him and Martin and reached for a shotgun that rested behind the door, but Martin fired two shots. One of the bullets passed through the door and into the left side of Klein's chest. Klein collapsed to the floor and died at the scene.

         [¶6] Upon hearing the shots, Spurlock ran out of the store and, after grabbing the entire cash register drawer, Breaziel followed. Martin also fled. The three men and the woman went back to Martin's residence and split the proceeds of the robbery after opening the cash register drawer with a hammer. Thereafter, Martin burned the clothes he had been wearing and gave away Klein's revolver.

         [¶7] On April 7, 2016, the State charged Martin with four counts - murder (Count 1), felony murder (Count 2), Level 2 felony robbery (Count 3), and Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon (Count 4). On June 8, 2016, the State amended the information to include a charge of Level 3 felony conspiracy to commit robbery (Count 5). Following a three-day trial in early December 2018, [1] the jury found Martin guilty on all counts as charged, except that the bifurcated portion relating to the serious violent felon determination had yet to be held. On the State's motion, the trial court dismissed Count 4.

         [¶8] The sentencing hearing was held on December 20, 2018, at which the parties and the trial court discussed double jeopardy issues regarding the four remaining counts. Ultimately, the trial court ...


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