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Sharon Glass


RUBEN GREEN, Appellant-Defendant, vs. STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 49A05-0610-CR-557
COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA

Ruben Green and Sharon Glass were involved in a romantic relationship from November 2003 to September 2004. On September 3, after the relationship had ended, Glass reported a computer and two DVD/VCR players had been taken from her home. The burglary upset Glass, so she and her new boyfriend, Robert Dunn, spent the night at a hotel. When she returned home the next day, she found her television had been stolen. That day, she reported Green had beaten her and told police she suspected he was involved in at least one of the burglaries. Dunn testified Green spied on Glass, called her frequently, and left a message stating she "was going to regret leaving me, bitch."

Robert Locke, a friend of Glass, was dating a woman who lived in the same apartment complex as Green. Locke was at the complex frequently. Green told Locke he had stolen some of Glass' property, and Locke saw him pawn some of the items. Locke told Glass that Green had her property, but did not tell her Green had pawned the items.

On September 13, Glass told Dunn that Green had called her, saying he was willing to return her property. Glass went to Green's apartment complex, where she saw Locke sitting outside. Glass told him that she had come to get her things from Green. She told him if she was not out in fifteen minutes, he should call the police.

Locke did not take her comment seriously and returned to his girlfriend's apartment. About fifteen minutes later, Green appeared at the door of Locke's girlfriend's apartment and told Locke that Glass had hit him in the head with a bottle. Locke and Green ran back to Green's apartment, where Locke saw Glass sitting in a chair. She was bloody and wearing only panties and a shirt. Her mouth was open and her eyes were rolled back in her head. Locke ran back to his girlfriend's apartment to call 911. Green also called 911 and began CPR on Glass as instructed.

Paramedics arrived to take Glass to the hospital, and she died en route. Green was taken into custody. After being advised of his Miranda rights, Green claimed Glass had hit him in the head with his clock and bit him, the attack was unprovoked, and he had hurt her in the course of warding off her attack.

Green was charged with murder and was originally tried in May 2006. During the trial, Detective Claire Hochman discovered she had relevant telephone records in her possession. They were not certified and had not been provided to the defense during discovery. Detective Hochman handed the records over to the prosecutor, who in turn gave a copy to the defense counsel. The State acknowledged they could not be admitted at trial. Neither party informed the judge of this situation.

While Detective Hochman was on the stand, a juror asked a question about phone records. Green's counsel attempted to object, but because the judge was unaware of the discovery violation, he cut counsel short and permitted questions about the records. Detective Hochman testified she had records of calls between Glass, Locke, and Green. When the prosecutor began to ask Detective Hochman additional questions, Green's counsel asked to approach the bench. Counsel was finally able to explain the situation to the judge, and a mistrial was declared.

Green moved to dismiss the charges, but his motion was denied. The case proceeded to a second trial in August 2006. The parties were told not to refer to the first trial and to instruct their witnesses accordingly. However, Glass' mother, Deborah Ellis, referred to "the prosecutor from the last trial" during her testimony.  Green did not object, but the judge admonished the prosecutor, who claimed he had prepared his witnesses and the reference was inadvertent.

By agreement, the parties played a tape of forensic scientist Judith Macechko's testimony from the first trial. The tape was to be edited to remove any indication the testimony was from a previous trial. Nevertheless, multiple comments on the tape indicated Macechko was testifying before a jury. Again, Green failed to object. When the judge admonished the State a second time, Green moved for a mistrial. The trial court denied the motion, but offered a curative instruction. Green declined to have the jury admonished. The second trial resulted in a conviction of murder.

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