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Cox v. State

Supreme Court of Indiana
696 N.E. 2d 853 (1998)


On September 22, 1995, James Leonard was shot and killed while sleeping in his bed at home. Patrick Cox (defendant) was accused of the murder. It was alleged that he had killed Leonard in retaliation because Leonard and his wife had accused Cox’s close friend Jamie Hammer of molesting their daughter and Hammer was in prison pending the resolution of those charges. At his trial, the prosecution sought to introduce evidence concerning what had transpired at Hammer’s bond hearing on the molestation charges, particularly that Hammer’s bond was not reduced. The prosecution sought to show that Cox killed Leonard because of the latest developments in Hammer’s case. Cox objected, arguing that the evidence was inadmissible because it was only relevant if Cox knew what had happened at the hearing and the prosecution had not shown that. Cox was convicted of murder and appealed directly to the Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Boehm, J.)

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