The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

February 3, 2014

Court of Appeals upholds use of 'hearsay' evidence to revoke probation

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a Madison County trial court judge’s consideration of hearsay evidence in revoking the probation of an Anderson man last year. The decision was released last week.

Marcus Jones was sentenced in March 2010 to a prison term of 10 years and ordered to serve seven years with three years suspended.

On March 22, 2013, the state filed a petition in Judge Dennis Carroll’s Madison Circuit Court 6 alleging that Jones violated his probation after being released from prison by committing several new offenses.

These included Class A felony attempted murder, Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and Class D felony dealing in marijuana. The petition also alleged that Jones had violated the terms of his probation by failing to pay fees and get a job.

That case involved the shooting of 25-year-old Antonio McMullen by 21-year-old Darius Hardiman. Hardiman was found guilty of attempted murder last fall and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

According to court testimony at trial, Hardiman and and Jones met with McMullen near 21st and Nelle streets for a drug deal when Hardiman unexpectedly pulled out a gun and shot McMullen. The two then allegedly robbed McMullen and left him for dead.

At a court hearing, Jones admitted he failed to pay court fees and get a job, but did not admit to committing any new offenses. However, Anderson police Detective Norman Rayford testified that he was investigating Jones’ alleged involvement in those offenses.

Rayford’s testimony was used to revoke Jones’ probation.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals said hearsay evidence may be used at a probation revocation hearing “if the court determines that the hearsay is substantially trustworthy.”

Jones, who later turned himself in to police, confirmed the story. He is scheduled to stand trial on the charges on March 11.

Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @stuhirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

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