ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT
Kay A. Beehler
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
Attorney General of Indiana
Arthur Thaddeus Perry
Deputy Attorney General
SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA
ROMAN LAMONT FRENCH, )
Appellant (Defendant Below), )
v. ) Indiana Supreme Court
) Cause No. 03S00-9911-CR-661
STATE OF INDIANA, )
Appellee (Plaintiff Below). )
APPEAL FROM THE BARTHOLOMEW SUPERIOR COURT
The Honorable Stephen Heimann, Judge
Cause No. 03D01-9810-CF-1044
ON DIRECT APPEAL
November 22, 2002
In this consolidated appeal, Roman Lamont French challenges both his conviction for cocaine
dealing and the denial of post-conviction relief. We hold: (1) French
was not denied due process when he appeared, without objection, wearing jail garb
in front of a new jury during the habitual offender proceeding; (2)
although it is error to require a defendant to appear in jail garb
at a habitual offender proceeding, it does not require reversal where no objection
was raised; (3) the evidence at the habitual offender proceeding was sufficient to
identify French as the person convicted of prior crimes; (4) the trial court
did not commit fundamental error when it failed to instruct the jury that
it was not required to accept a judicially noticed fact; (5) the evidence
enhancing Frenchs conviction to a Class A felony was sufficient; (6) he was
not denied the effective assistance of counsel; and (7) the cumulative errors of
his attorneys did not substantially damage his defense.
Factual and Procedural Background
On February 23, 1998, a confidential informant purchased .24 grams of cocaine from
French for $100. French was charged with dealing in cocaine, a Class
A felony, and two months later was charged with being a habitual offender.
A jury found French guilty of dealing in cocaine. That jury
was dismissed and a new jury was impaneled to hear the habitual offender
charge a month later.
See footnote The second jury found French to be a
habitual offender. The trial court then sentenced French to thirty years for
the underlying offense and enhanced his sentence by an additional thirty years as
a habitual offender. French appealed and also initiated a post-conviction relief proceeding.
This Court suspended consideration of the direct appeal and remanded the matter
to the trial court for consideration of the issues raised in his post-conviction
petition. This consolidated appeal seeks review of both the underlying conviction and
the denial of post-conviction relief.
I. Appearing in Jail Garb at the Habitual Offender Trial
French appeared in full jail garb with handcuffs, shackles, and orange jail clothing
at the habitual offender phase of the trial conducted before a new jury
a month after the trial of the underlying charge. French contends that
this violated his constitutional right to due process.
A. The Restraints and Shackles
In Evans v. State, 571 N.E.2d 1231, 1238 (Ind. 1991), this Court concluded
that a defendant has the right to appear in front of a jury
without physical restraints, unless restraints are necessary to prevent the defendants escape, to
protect those present in the courtroom, or to maintain order during the trial.
We have held that the facts and reasoning supporting the trial judges
determination that restraints are necessary must be placed on the record. Wrinkles
v. State, 749 N.E.2d 1179, 1193 (Ind. 2001) (quoting Coates v. State, 487
N.E.2d 167, 169 (Ind. Ct. App. 1985). An order to restrain the
defendant is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Forte v. State, 759
N.E.2d 206, 208 (Ind. 2001).
In a sidebar with attorneys for both the State and defense present, the
trial court explained its action as follows:
At the conclusion of the previous trial in this case, it is my
understanding that there was a significant physical altercation between Mr. French and one
or more law enforcement officers.[
See footnote ] I have instructed the law enforcement officers
to secure Frenchs . . . I think its his right hand.
I think hes left handed . . . so that he is able
to write. But he also has ankle irons or leg irons, whatever
they call them. [Defense counsel], you have an objection to that?
His counsel objected only to the arm constraint because it could be seen
by the jury. The trial court overruled the objection based upon the
altercation that happened as the jury was leaving the courtroom during the last
The trial court complied with the requirements of law by stating, on the
record, facts and reasoning supporting its determination that restraints were necessary. Based
on the reasons given by the trial court, we cannot say that the
trial court abused its discretion in having the defendant handcuffed and shackled.
At his habitual offender proceeding, French appeared in bright orange clothing with the
word jail on the back. The United States Supreme Court has held
that a defendant cannot be compelled to appear before a jury in identifiable
prison clothing because this may impair the presumption of innocence. Estelle v.
Williams, 425 U.S. 501, 502-05 (1976). French argues that requiring him to
wear prison clothes during the habitual offender phase of his trial in front
of a separate jury violated his right to due process.
French made no objection to the jail garb. The failure to object
to being tried in prison clothes negates the compulsion necessary to establish a
constitutional violation. Id. at 512-13. Although it is not a denial
of due process if a defendant appears in jail garb without objection, we
agree that the same reasons requiring an appearance in street clothes at trial
also apply in a supplemental proceeding before a jury such as the habitual
offender phase. Accordingly, if a defendant objects, it is error to require
the defendant to appear in jail garb at the habitual offender phase.
Here, however, there was no objection and the issue is not preserved.
Recognizing that no objection was raised in the trial court, French contends that
his appearance in jail garb constituted fundamental error reviewable despite the lack of
objection. We do not agree. Although, as Justice Sullivan points out,
French is entitled to the presumption of innocence as to the habitual offender
charge, he was convicted of the underlying charge of dealing cocaine, and the
jury was informed of this. The Ninth Circuit addressed a similar issue
in Duckett v. Godinez, 67 F.3d 734, 746 (9th Cir. 1995), where the
defendant appeared in prison clothes, handcuffs, and a security chain before a sentencing
jury. Although a sentencing proceeding is not identical to the habitual offender
phase, in both instances the presumption of innocence of the underlying charge no
longer applies. As the Ninth Circuit put it: His condition as a
prisoner is no surprise to the jury, which just found him guilty.
Prison clothing cannot be considered inherently prejudicial when the jury already knows, based
upon other facts, that the defendant has been deprived of his liberty.
Id. at 747. In Frenchs case a second jury was assembled for
the habitual offender phase of the trial. When this is done the
jury is to be informed of the underlying felony that provoked the habitual
offender charge. Gilliam v. State, 563 N.E.2d 94, 96 (Ind. 1990) (The
State is not required to prove the primary underlying felony to a second
jury which has been subsequently assembled during a habitual offender proceeding.); see also
Denton v. State, 496 N.E.2d 576, 581 (Ind. 1996) (There is no harm
in a trial court informing a jury subsequently assembled during the habitual offender
proceeding that a previous jury returned a guilty verdict on the underlying felony.).
In view of these authorities we do not believe this error approaches
fundamental error requiring retrial despite Frenchs failure to object.
II. Evidence Identifying French as the Prior Offender
French contends that the evidence used to connect him to the documents presented
by the State violated his right to counsel and his right against self-incrimination.
At the habitual offender phase of the trial, documents from two predicate
felony convictions included a date of birth and social security number of the
defendant, as well as his name. Columbus Police Officer Matt Myers testified
to Frenchs date of birth and social security number listed on the charging
information in this case and stated that this information had been provided by
French when he was booked into jail on the charge in this case.
He further testified that he was not present at the initial hearing
in this case but had listened to a tape of the hearing where
French again provided this information. Based on his familiarity with Frenchs voice,
Myers opined that the person on the tape was French. He then
testified that the date of birth and social security number on the records
of the two prior felony convictions were the same as those appearing in
the booking information and in the charging information, and given at the initial
hearing in this case.
Relying on Palmer v. State, 679 N.E.2d 887, 891 (Ind. 1997), French argues
that Myers testimony prejudiced his defense because [p]roof that an individual named in
an habitual offender information and an individual so named in various documents is
insufficient to [prove] the person committed a prior crime. French suggests that
fingerprints on documentary exhibits or prior convictions should have been offered.
He also contends that proof of Frenchs social security number and date of
birth in the form of testimony to admissions by French was improper because
it admitted into evidence statements French made in custody when being booked without
counsel. Assuming French had not been advised of his Miranda rights at
the time he gave this information, this claim is raised for the first
time on appeal and was not presented to the trial court. It
is a classic example of the justification that an issue be raised at
trial to be preserved for appeal. Had this claim been presented at
the habitual offender proceeding, it would presumably have been a simple matter to
prove Frenchs social security number and date of birth by other means.
There is no fundamental error here, and the issue is not available on
Finally, pictures of the Roman French in the booking information for two of
the felonies were given to the jury as exhibits. This evidence was
more than mere proof of Frenchs common name. Indeed, we have previously
held that a defendants date of birth and picture is sufficient evidence for
a jury to find the defendant sitting at the defense table was the
same defendant listed in the charging information. Fozzard v. State, 518 N.E.2d
789, 792 (Ind. 1988).
III. Failure to Instruct Jury on Judicially Noticed Exhibits
French argues that the trial court committed fundamental error when it failed to
instruct the jury pursuant to Indiana Evidence Rule 201(g) after it took judicial
notice of the charging information and the courts own order recording Frenchs conviction
on the underlying felony. French contends the court was required to carry
out the direction of Indiana Evidence Rule 201(g). That Rule provides, In
a criminal case, the court shall instruct the jury that it may, but
is not required to, accept as conclusive any fact judicially noticed. There
was no request for such an instruction. French argues that the courts
failure to give the required instruction resulted in fundamental error that requires reversal
despite his failure to present the issue to the trial court. Specifically,
he contends that fundamental error occurred when [t]he jury saw before them an
accused who was in jail clothing, shackled, and handcuffed, [and] heard unequivocally from
the court, stated as a fact, that French had been convicted of a
felony on April 1, 1999. Although the instruction contemplated by Rule 201(g)
was required if requested, there is no claim that the judicially noticed factsa
document from the courts own recordswere incorrect. Accordingly, there is no fundamental
unfairness in this omission and failure to request an instruction forecloses the issue
IV. Sufficiency of the Evidence
French contends that he was denied his fundamental right to require the State
to prove each element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, in
violation of the United State Constitution and the Indiana Constitution. French was
charged with dealing in cocaine as a Class A felony for delivering cocaine
within 1000 feet of 9th Street Park and/or St. Bartholomew Catholic Parish Pre-School.
French argues that the dealing in cocaine charge should not have been
enhanced to a Class A felony because there was insufficient evidence to prove
French dealt cocaine within 1000 feet of school property.
A. School Property
French contends that there was no evidence to support the proposition that St.
Bartholomew Preschool was school property for purposes of the enhancement provided by Indiana
Code section 35-48-4-1 for dealing within 1000 feet of a school. Section
35-41-1-24.7 provides, in relevant part, that the term school property includes a building
or other structure owned or rented by . . . [a] private school
(as defined in IC 20-9.1-1-3). Section 20-9.1-1-3 defines a private school as
any school which is not supported and maintained by funds realized from the
imposition of a tax on property, income or sales.
The Director of St. Bartholomew Preschool testified that the preschool is part of
the St. Bartholomews Catholic Church. She testified that the school was a
private school, did not receive state funding, and was privately sponsored by the
church. She also stated that the children at the school range in
age from twenty months to six years; they learn their numbers and alphabet,
sing songs, go on field trips, and play. She testified that the
building in which the school is located is owned by the parish.
French contends that based on this information, one may speculate that St. Bartholomew
was nothing more than a church run babysitting service. We disagree.
We think that this kindergarten level institution falls within the definition of school
property. In any event, the information charged French with dealing in cocaine
within 1000 feet of a school or park. French has made no
argument that the evidence was insufficient to show that Wilson Street Park was
a park. Consequently, the enhancement to a Class A felony was proper.
French argues that the evidence was insufficient to establish the distance between the
transaction and either the school or the park. Shawn Plummer, an auto
CAD technician for the City Engineers office, testified that the distance from the
address where the dealing took place was 790 feet from St. Bartholomews pre-school
and 661 feet from the Wilson Street park. Plummers job entails making
city maps, putting new subdivisions on the maps, and keep[ing] the map accurate
with the city. He stated that he enters an address into the
computer, and his computer calculates everything within a 1000 feet radius of that
address and produces a map. On cross-examination, Plummer admitted that he did
not physically measure the distance in this case, did not write the computer
program, did not know how the program worked, and did not know whether
it was accurate.
French objected to the map, because no one actually went out there and
physically measured [the distance and] theres no foundation laid that these distances are
actually the distances that that computer generated. We assume the computer generated
map could be established to be reliable. In any event, before trial
resumed the following day, Officer Curt Beverage physically measured the distance between the
place of the dealing and the pre-school and the place of dealing and
the park. He used a one-hundred-foot heavy-duty steel tape that he calibrated
by comparison with a separate twenty-five foot tape. He also checked the
accuracy of the twenty-five foot tape against a twelve-inch ruler. Beverage testified
that the distance from the place of dealing and just past the property
line of the school was 652 feet and to the far end of
the school building was 964 feet. Beverage stated that the distance from
the place of dealing and the park was 717 feet. This evidence
V. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984), a claim of ineffective assistance
of counsel requires a showing that: (1) counsels performance was deficient by falling
below an objective standard of reasonableness based on prevailing professional norms; and (2)
counsels performance prejudiced the defendant so much that there is a reasonable probability
that, but for counsels unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have
been different. Id. at 687, 694; Lowery v. State, 640 N.E.2d 1031,
1041 (Ind. 1994). To meet the appropriate test for prejudice, the defendant
must show that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsels unprofessional
errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. Strickland, 466
U.S. at 694. Failure to satisfy either prong will cause the claim
to fail. Vermillion v. State, 719 N.E.2d 1201, 1208 (Ind. 1999).
Indeed, most ineffective assistance of counsel claims can be resolved by a prejudice
inquiry alone. Williams v. State, 706 N.E.2d 149, 154 (Ind. 1999).
French claims that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his
attorneys (1) conducted little or no pretrial investigation of his alibi witness, (2)
lacked knowledge of prevailing law and precedent, and (3) allowed French to appear
in jail garb in front of a new jury during the habitual offender
A. Lack of Pretrial Investigations
French contends that his attorneys conducted little or no pretrial investigation and specifically
failed to investigate his alibi. Frenchs attorney filed an Amended Notice of
Alibi on March 23, 1999, stating that French was with Heather Clarkson at
the time of the alleged dealing. A pre-trial conference was scheduled the
day before Frenchs trial, March 29, 1999, to discuss this issue, but Frenchs
attorney failed to appear because her staff was told that the hearing was
a pretrial conference that would be telephonic.
Because Clarkson was listed as Frenchs alibi and a witness who would be
testifying, Curt Beverage, the supervisor of the narcotics unit, interviewed Clarkson on behalf
of the State the night before Frenchs trial began. Initially, she told
Beverage that she was on a date with French on the date of
the alleged dealing. Later, however, after Beverage told her that he had
French on tape making the deal and that her daughter would be taken
away if she were arrested for conspiracy to deal, she changed her story.
She then told him that she could not remember exactly when they
were together and signed an affidavit stating so.
When Frenchs attorney brought up the issue of an alibi defense at trial,
the trial court ruled that after the State rested, French would be allowed
to bring Ms. Clarkson over and have a hearing outside the jury with
regard to whatever she may say. Once the State presented its case,
however, Frenchs attorneys moved for a mistrial based on judicial misconduct and prosecutorial
misconduct, which included intimidation of Clarkson in her interview with Beverage. The
judge denied the motion. No motion to present an alibi defense was
made, and Clarkson was not called as a witness during Frenchs trial.
At the post-conviction proceeding, Frenchs attorney testified that she remembered that French told
her that Clarkson had information about the case, but did not recall whether
she spoke with Clarkson. She testified that her investigators found that many
of the witnesses names that French gave her were not panning out to
say what he told us they were going to say. She also
French gave us the names of several witnesses. He didnt give us the
alibi name until later. Many of those witnesses were hesitant in talking
with us. Many of them indicated that they had been intimidated by
Mr. French and we did not want to get into a situation where
we were having a witness who we felt may have been lying.
She testified that she talked to all of the witnesses who were called
for trial, although some were interviewed in the hallway of the courtroom.
At the post-conviction hearing, Clarkson testified that she had never met any of
Frenchs lawyers and that no one approached her identifying themselves as an investigator
working for his attorneys. She also admitted that she was not certain
that she was with French on the date of the alleged dealing and
stated she would have testified at his trial that it was possible he
was at her house, but wouldnt exactly said that he was at my
house that night because I dont know that for sure.
French contends that the jury should have had an opportunity to determine whether
or not his alibi was viable. He argues that Clarkson was caught
off guard by Beverages interview and could have reconstructed events more clearly closer
to the time of trial. French contends that if Clarkson had been
called at trial, she would have stated that she well could have been
with French on the night in question and that the confidential informant was
French failed to show that he was prejudiced by his attorneys failure to
interview Clarkson. In her testimony during the post-conviction proceeding, Clarkson was very
clear that if she had been called to testify at Frenchs trial, she
would have testified only that it was possible that French could have been
See footnote Moreover, Clarkson stated at one point during the post-conviction proceeding
that she would not have testified at all at Frenchs trial after signing
the affidavit the night before. Based on this evidence, French has failed
to meet his burden of proof that there is a reasonable probability that,
but for counsels unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been
Finally, French contends for the first time in his reply brief that the
overall effect of counsels inadequate performance reveals that counsels failure to object to
various errors as they occurred at trial heightens Frenchs burden on appeal.
French has waived this issue by not raising it in his principal brief.
Ross v. State, 429 N.E.2d 942, 945 (Ind. 1982).
B. Lack of Knowledge of Prevailing Law and Precedent
French also argues he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his
counsel demonstrated lack of knowledge of prevailing law and precedent. Specifically, he
argues that Watkins appeared to be without knowledge of the prevailing law under
Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986). However, the record does not
reflect that the prosecutor used preemptory challenges to exclude an identifiable group from
Frenchs jury and there is no basis to conclude that a Batson issue
would have been properly raised. There is, therefore, no showing of prejudice.
C. Allowing French to Appear in Jail Garb at the Habitual Offender
Finally, French contends he had ineffective assistance of counsel because his counsel allowed
French to appear before an entirely new jury for trial on the habitual
offender enhancement charge in jail clothes, handcuffed, and shackled. At the post-conviction
proceeding, his attorney did not recall any conversations with French with respect to
his appearing in jail clothes. She stated, Its my understanding he had
clothing over there. And I think it was his choice to do
that. She stated that she did not tell French that it did
not matter if he was in jail clothes because it was only a
habitual proceeding. French, however, recalled that when his attorney saw French in
jail clothes before the habitual phase of the trial began, she asked him
why and was told he had not been allowed to dress. According
to French, his attorney responded that it didnt matter because he had already
been convicted. The attorney denied this exchange and stated she would never
let a defendant appear before a jury in jail clothes without talking to
the defendant about it and if the defendant objected, [she] would have talked
to the Judge.
For the reasons given in Part I of this opinion, French was not
denied due process by appearing at the habitual offender proceeding in handcuffs, shackles,
and jail clothing. We cannot say that this inconsistent evidence established that
counsel was ineffective or inadequate in the manner in which she carried out
her duties to his client. In any event, it seems clear that
the result of the proceeding was not affected by counsels performance. The
issue at this proceeding was whether French had two prior felony convictions.
As to that, the evidence was clear, and French has failed to show
prejudice from his counsels failure to object to his wearing jail clothes.
VI. Reversal for Cumulative Errors By Counsel
French contends that the cumulative errors by his counsel effectively resulted in no
defense at all. Errors by counsel that are not individually sufficient to
prove ineffective representation may add up to ineffective assistance when viewed cumulatively.
Pennycuff v. State, 745 N.E.2d 804, 816-17 (Ind. 2001). A conviction based
upon an accumulation of defense attorney errors, when counsels mistakes do substantial damage
to the defense, must be reversed. Williams v. State, 508 N.E.2d 1264,
1268 (Ind. 1987). Here, however, the testimony of the informant, Frenchs admission
that he was the one who answered the phone calls from the informant
and agreed to sell her cocaine, and the testimony of police officers that
they recognized Frenchs voice on the body wire worn by the informant during
the dealing were sufficiently persuasive. There is no reasonable probability that the
alleged errors made a difference.
We affirm the trial courts conviction and habitual offender enhancement and affirm the
post-conviction courts denial of post-conviction relief.
SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON, J. concur.
SULLIVAN, J. concurs in part and dissents in part with opinion in which
RUCKER, J. concurs.
SULLIVAN, Justice, concurring and dissenting.
I concur in the majoritys opinion affirming Frenchs conviction for dealing cocaine and
the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief therefrom. I respectfully dissent,
however, with respect to its holding affirming Frenchs adjudication as a habitual offender.
In my view, the trial court committed fundamental error when it permitted French
to appear at the habitual offender proceeding in bright orange clothing with the
word JAIL on the back.
The majority points out that, according to the United States Supreme Court, a
defendant cannot be compelled to appear before the jury in identifiable prison clothing
because this may impair the presumption of innocence. Estelle v. Williams, 425
U.S. 501, 502-05 (1976). Estelle held that a defendant is required to
object to being tried in jail garb in order to make out a
federal due process violation.
The majority suggests another reason why, 25 years after Estelle, an Indiana court
would permit a defendant to stand trial in bright orange clothing with the
word JAIL on the back. It cites with apparent approval a Ninth
Circuit case that allowed the defendant to face a sentencing jury in prison
clothing during the penalty phase of a bifurcated trial. The majority analogizes
that case to this on grounds that, in both, "the presumption of innocence
of the underlying charge no longer applies.
But French was not facing "the penalty phase of a bifurcated trial."
He faced a jury of his peers as to his guilt or innocence
of being a habitual offender. See Seay v. State, 698 N.E.2d 732,
734 (Ind. 1998) (determining the habitual offender penalty is clearly different from determining
habitual offender status) (emphasis in original). The presumption of innocence did apply
as to whether he was a habitual offender.
The standard for fundamental error is whether the error was so prejudicial to
the rights of the defendant that a fair trial was impossible. Boatright
v. State, 759 N.E.2d 1038, 1042 (Ind. 2001). For a combination of
reasons, I think that standard is met here.
First, contrary to the majoritys assertion that [t]he issue at this proceeding was
whether French had two prior felony convictions, at issue was whether French was
a habitual offender. And even where the jury finds the facts of
the prerequisite prior felony convictions to be uncontroverted, the jury still has the
unquestioned right to refuse to find the defendant to be a habitual offender
at law. Seay, 698 N.E.2d at 734 (citations omitted).
Second, the overwhelmingly adverse prejudicial effect of appearing before the jury in jail
clothing is obvious. As Chief Justice Burger wrote in Estelle:
The potential effects of presenting an accused before the jury in prison attire
need not, however, be measured in the abstract. Courts have, with few
exceptions, determined that an accused should not be compelled to go to trial
in prison or jail clothing because of the possible impairment of the presumption
so basic to the adversary system. [Citations omitted.] The American Bar
Association's Standards for Criminal Justice also disapprove the practice. ABA Project on
Standards for Criminal Justice, Trial by Jury, § 4.1 (b), p. 91 (App.
Draft 1968). This is a recognition that the constant reminder of the
accuseds condition implicit in such distinctive, identifiable attire may affect a juror's judgment.
The defendant's clothing is so likely to be a continuing influence throughout
the trial that, not unlike placing a jury in the custody of deputy
sheriffs who were also witnesses for the prosecution, an unacceptable risk is presented
of impermissible factors coming into play. Turner v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 466,
Estelle, 425 U.S. at 504-05 (footnote omitted).
In addition, as our Court has noted before, the consequences of a habitual
offender adjudication are extremely severe. See Seay, 698 N.E.2d at 733.
And it is small imposition at most to require a trial court to
make sure a defendant knows he or she has the option of appearing
before the jury in civilian clothes. See Estelle, 425 U.S. at 504
(Courts must do the best they can to evaluate the likely effects of
a particular procedure, based on reason, principle, and common human experience.).
RUCKER, J., concurs.
This is consistent with precedent. See Denton v. State, 496 N.E.2d
576, 581 (Ind. 1986) (While in the usual habitual offender determination the same
jury hears both the felony charge and the recidivist charge in a bifurcated
proceeding, we have previously held that it is permissible for a different jury
than the one who heard the case on the underlying felony charge to
determine a defendants habitual offender status.).
This altercation was not documented in the record of the trial court
proceedings. In the post-conviction proceedings, French testified that after the verdict was
read, he tried to talk to his family. The deputy told him
he was not allowed to speak to his family, and he jerked away.
He stated, Everything just got out of control. I dont know
why I jerked away because hell tell you, I didnt throw punches at
him . . . . It just got out of hand and
I think they might have been expecting maybe, you know, even my family
was going to get upset . . . . So then [the
extra security] started rushing me. Then . . . we ended up
wrestling until we got like probably about the middle of the floor then
talked to me . . . it was them that got me to
She stated at the post-conviction hearing, I would have testified that [French
being at my house] was possible . . . . But I
wouldnt exactly said that he was at my house that night because I
dont know that for sure. She also stated, I couldnt tell them
at trial if I was or if I was not [with French] because
I dont know.