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Date: 08-27-2016

Case Style: Latroy Maxwell v. State of Indiana

Case Number: 79A02-1601-CR-154

Judge: L. Mark Bailey

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA

Plaintiff's Attorney: Paula J. Beller
Deputy Attorney General

Defendant's Attorney: David T. A. Mattingly

Description: In April of 2015, N.G. lived in Lafayette with her four children. She had
obtained a no-contact order against Maxwell, who was the father of one of the
children. On April 23, 2015, at around 10:00 p.m., N.G. answered a knock at her door to
find Maxwell standing there holding a case of beer. He handed N.G. the beer
and stated that he would be back, then took off down the street.
[5] Within minutes, Maxwell returned. N.G. again opened the door, but did not
invite Maxwell inside. Maxwell insisted that he wanted to give his child a hug
and kiss, and he walked past N.G. into the house. After trying to awaken his
child and interact with her, Maxwell began to express displeasure that the child
was not very responsive. He accused N.G. of doing something to cause the
child to react negatively to him.
[6] N.G. told Maxwell that he could leave, but Maxwell continued to engage N.G.
in conversation. He was alternately speaking in normal tones and in loud,
angry tones. At one point, Maxwell “flipped his hand” across N.G.’s lip and
expressed his desire to engage in sexual relations. (Tr. at 67.) When N.G.
rebuffed Maxwell’s request for “moo shoo,” he motioned that she should
perform oral sex. (Tr. at 67.) N.G. repeatedly told Maxwell no and requested
that he leave. Instead, Maxwell tried to interrogate N.G. about whom she was
trying to be faithful to. He stated that he was “tired of [N.G.] treating him like
one of those other punk ass n-----s on the street” and began to push her into the
bedroom. (Tr. at 69.)
[7] Maxwell and N.G. struggled on the bed. N.G. attempted to get up, but
Maxwell repeatedly pushed her down. He was attempting to remove N.G.’s
pants and she was “holding onto them so he couldn’t pull them down.” (Tr. at

Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 79A02-1601-CR-154 | August 25, 2016 Page 4 of 8
74.) N.G. dug her nails into Maxwell’s neck and bit him on his chest. Maxwell
then put his arm around N.G. and choked her into unconsciousness. When
N.G. came to, she was aware that her pants were off.
[8] Maxwell used one arm to pin N.G. down and the other arm to pry her knees
apart. Maxwell raped N.G. and asked if she “was going to call the police on
him.” (Tr. at 81.) After N.G. assured Maxwell that she would not call the
police, he left.
[9] N.G. called the police and was escorted to the hospital. Maxwell was arrested
and charged with Rape, Criminal Confinement, Strangulation, Battery, and
Invasion of Privacy. At the conclusion of a jury trial on November 17, 2015,
Maxwell was convicted as charged. Because of Double Jeopardy concerns, the
trial court entered judgments of conviction on only the Rape and Invasion of
Privacy verdicts. Maxwell was sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment
of thirty years. He now appeals.
Discussion and Decision
Sufficiency of the Evidence of Serious Bodily Injury
[10] When reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a conviction,
appellate courts must consider only the probative evidence and the reasonable
inferences supporting the verdict. Drane v. State, 867 N.E.2d 144, 146 (Ind.
2007). In so doing, we do not assess witness credibility or reweigh the

Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 79A02-1601-CR-154 | August 25, 2016 Page 5 of 8
evidence. Id. We will affirm the conviction unless no reasonable fact-finder
could find the elements of the crime proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Id.
[11] In order to convict Maxwell of Rape, a Level 1 felony, as charged, the State was
required to show that Maxwell knowingly or intentionally had sexual
intercourse with N.G. when N.G. was compelled by force or imminent threat
of force, and that the offense resulted in serious bodily injury to N.G. I.C. § 35
42-4-1(b)(3); Confidential App. at 207.
[12] Maxwell challenges only the sufficiency of the evidence to elevate the offense to
a Level 1 felony, that is, serious bodily injury. “Serious bodily injury” is bodily
injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent
disfigurement, unconsciousness, extreme pain, permanent or protracted loss or
impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ, or loss of a fetus. I.C.
§ 35-31.5-2-292.
[13] The State presented evidence that Maxwell rendered N.G. unconscious by
strangulation. N.G. testified that Maxwell used his arm to choke her, she began
to get dizzy, and her ears were ringing; she then “blacked out.” (Tr. at 78.)
N.G. further testified that when she regained consciousness, she began crying
and accused Maxwell of trying to kill her. Her pants had been removed. Nurse
Cathy Clark testified that N.G. appeared to have symptoms consistent with loss
of consciousness, specifically, memory loss, confusion, and ear pain.
[14] According to Maxwell, the evidence is insufficient to support the elevation of
his offense because the evidence of unconsciousness is derived from N.G.’s

Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 79A02-1601-CR-154 | August 25, 2016 Page 6 of 8
“self-reporting at the hospital” as opposed to medical tests, and the State did
not establish that the episode of unconsciousness was prolonged. Appellant’s
Brief at 13. Maxwell argues: “if N.G. was unconscious, it was only briefly, and
such scant evidence should not provide the basis to support a finding of serious
bodily injury.” Appellant’s Brief at 13. Maxwell’s argument is a blatant request
that we reweigh evidence and find N.G. to be lacking in credibility. We will
not do so.
[15] Because the statute defining serious bodily injury is written in the disjunctive,
the State need only prove one type of injury to establish serious bodily injury.
Davis v. State, 819 N.E.2d 91, 100 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004). When the victim was
rendered unconscious by a blow to the mouth, “[t]his alone was sufficient to
establish serious bodily injury.” Id. at 100-101. See also State v. Greene, 16
N.E.3d 416, 420-23 (Ind. 2014) (observing that “serious bodily injury” includes
bodily injury causing unconsciousness and recognizing, in the context of post
conviction proceedings, that “the State presented more than sufficient evidence
for the jury to infer that Greene’s act of force, i.e. his strangulation of Johnson
… resulted in serious bodily injury to her”). The State presented sufficient
evidence to establish that Maxwell committed Rape, as a Level 1 felony.
Appropriateness of Sentence
[16] Pursuant to Indiana Code Section 35-50-2-4, a person convicted of a Level 1
felony shall receive a term of imprisonment of between twenty years and forty

Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 79A02-1601-CR-154 | August 25, 2016 Page 7 of 8
years, with thirty years being the advisory sentence. Maxell was given the
advisory sentence.
[17] Under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B), this “Court may revise a sentence
authorized by statute if, after due consideration of the trial court’s decision, the
Court finds that the sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense
and the character of the offender.” In performing our review, we assess “the
culpability of the defendant, the severity of the crime, the damage done to
others, and myriad other factors that come to light in a given case.” Cardwell v.
State, 895 N.E.2d 1219, 1224 (Ind. 2008). The principal role of such review is
to attempt to leaven the outliers. Id. at 1225. A defendant ‘“must persuade the
appellate court that his or her sentence has met th[e] inappropriateness standard
of review.”’ Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d 482, 494 (Ind. 2007) (quoting
Childress v. State, 848 N.E.2d 1073, 1080 (Ind. 2006)).
[18] As for the nature of the offense, Maxwell violated a no-contact order in place
for the protection of N.G. and their child, and refused to leave the house when
repeatedly asked to do so. Maxwell then attacked, strangled, and raped his
former girlfriend while her four minor children were present in the house.
[19] As to the character of the offender, Maxwell has prior felony convictions in
Illinois and Indiana, specifically, for Possession of a Controlled Substance,
Attempted Robbery, and Robbery. He has misdemeanor convictions for Retail
Theft, Battery, Driving While Intoxicated, and Leaving the Scene of an
Accident. He was on probation at the time he committed the present offense.

Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 79A02-1601-CR-154 | August 25, 2016 Page 8 of 8
[20] Having reviewed the matter, we conclude that the trial court did not impose an
inappropriate sentence under Appellate Rule 7(B), and the sentence does not
warrant appellate revision. Accordingly, we decline to disturb the sentence
imposed by the trial court.

Outcome:

Sufficient evidence supports the elevation of Maxell’s crime of rape to a Level 1 felony. Maxwell has not demonstrated that his advisory sentence is inappropriate. Affirmed.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

Comments:

Indiana Department of Corrections Offender Info



 
 
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