Attorney for Appellant
Jerry T. Drook
Attorneys for Appellee
Attorney General of Indiana
Christopher L. Lafuse
Deputy Attorney General
INDIANA SUPREME COURT
Appellant (Defendant below),
STATE OF INDIANA,
Appellee (Plaintiff below ).
) Supreme Court No.
APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT
The Honorable Cale J. Bradford, Judge
Cause No. 49G03-9910-CF-173817
ON DIRECT APPEAL
September 11, 2002
Defendant Truedale Williams was convicted of robbery causing serious bodily injury for stealing
another mans wallet and then stabbing him. We affirm his conviction over
his claim that a photo array shown by the police to the victim
was unduly suggestive. We find there was little likelihood of misidentification because
the victim had ample opportunity to view his attacker.
The facts most favorable to the judgment indicate that on the evening of
October 3, 1999, the victim in this case was driving in the vicinity
of the Varsity Lounge Bar in Indianapolis. The victim spotted Defendant on
the street and began a conversation with him. This led to the
victim inviting Defendant home with him. On the way, the two discussed
having sex. After spending some time at the victims house, the victim
became uncomfortable with Defendant and decided to drive him home. Instead, Defendant
directed the victim to a residential street where he demanded the victims wallet.
Once the victim gave him the wallet, Defendant began stabbing him.
The victim suffered a collapsed lung. The police found a fingerprint on
the passenger side of the victims car and later identified it as belonging
The victim was shown a photo array and asked whether he recognized anyone.
He immediately identified Defendant as his attacker.
Defendant was found guilty of robbery causing serious bodily injury, a class A
He also pleaded guilty to being a habitual offender. The
trial court sentenced Defendant to a total of 60 years incarceration30 years for
the robbery, enhanced by another 30 years for being a habitual offender.
Defendant contends that the photo array was impermissibly suggestive and created a substantial
likelihood of misidentification. The photo array contained six color photographs. The
backgrounds in the picture were gray except for Defendants picture. The background
in Defendants picture was tinted light green.
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment requires suppression of test
a pre-trial identification when the procedure employed is impermissibly suggestive. Harris v.
State, 716 N.E.2d 406, 410 (Ind. 1999); Parker v. State, 698 N.E.2d 737,
740 (Ind. 1998); James v. State, 613 N.E.2d 15, 27 (Ind. 1993).
A photographic array is impermissibly suggestive if it raises a substantial likelihood of
misidentification given the totality of the circumstances. Harris, 716 N.E.2d at 410.
A trial court considers certain factors to evaluate the likelihood of a misidentification:
(1) the opportunity of the witness to view the criminal at the
time of the crime; (2) the wi
tness's degree of attention; (3) the accuracy
of the witness's prior description of the criminal; and (4) the level of
certainty demonstrated by the witness. James, 613 N.E.2d at 27.
If the pre-trial identification procedure was unduly suggestive, then testimony relating to
it is inadmissible. Farrell v. State, 622 N.E.2d 488, 493 (Ind. 1993).
Here the witness had ample opportunity to view the Defendant. This was
not a crime like a mu
gging or purse snatching where the victim gets
only a glance at the attacker. In this case, the victim spent
an extended period of time with Defendant prior to the crime. He
spoke with Defendant on the street and invited him home. At his
home, the victim and Defendant continued to speak and even touched each other.
The victim then drove Defendant to a residential neighborhood where the crime
occurred. The victim was shown the photo array nine days after the
attack. Officer Wallace testified that the victim immediately identified Defendant out of
the photo array.
There is no doubt here that the victim spent enough time with Defendant
to be able to identify him nine days later. Given the time
that the victim and Defendant spent t
ogether, it is unlikely that the green
tint of Defendants background would confuse the victim and cause him to identify
the wrong person. The trial court did not err by admitting the
We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
SHEPHARD, C.J., and DICKSON, BOEHM, and RUCKER, JJ., concur.
Ind. Code § 35-42-5-1.