ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT
Thomas P. Keller
South Bend, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
Karen M. Freeman-Wilson
Attorney General of Indiana
Rosemary L. Borek
Deputy Attorney General
SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA
ABDULLAH ALKHALIDI, )
Appellant (Defendant Below), )
v. ) Indiana Supreme Court
) Cause No. 71S00-0005-CR-288
STATE OF INDIANA, )
Appellee (Plaintiff Below). )
APPEAL FROM THE ST. JOSEPH SUPERIOR COURT
The Honorable J. Jerome Frese, Judge
Cause No. 71D03-9905-CF-00286
ON DIRECT APPEAL
August 23, 2001
Abdullah Alkhalidi was convicted of murder, robbery, and theft. In this direct
appeal, Alkhalidi contends that: (1) Indiana lacked jurisdiction over this case; (2) St.
Joseph County was not the proper venue; (3) there was insufficient evidence to
support the robbery conviction; and (4) the trial court abused its discretion by
preventing Alkhalidi from presenting alibi witnesses. We affirm the trial court.
Factual and Procedural Background
Alkhalidi was experiencing financial difficulties in the spring of 1999. On May
2 of that year, Claude Purdiman, an Elkhart County resident, went to the
Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, in LaPorte County, Indiana. He started
the evening with approximately $3000 in cash and won $500 more over the
course of the evening. Surveillance tapes from the casino showed Purdiman leaving
with Alkhalidi, who lived in South Bend, which is in St. Joseph County.
LaPorte County and Elkhart County are contiguous to St. Joseph County.
All are on Indianas northern border with Michigan. On May 3, Purdiman
was last seen in St. Joseph County, where he told friends he was
returning to the casino with Alkhalidi and another friend. The next day,
on May 4, Alkhalidi, whose bank account balance was $22.68 on May 3,
lost over $3000 at the casino. Purdiman did not accompany him.
On May 6, Purdimans car was found in Paw Paw, Michigan with its
license plate removed. Two days later, on May 8, Purdimans partially burned
body was found in Michigan, approximately ten miles from the Indiana border.
The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. On
May 13, the police arrived to question Alkhalidi, and found him loading items
into the trunk of his car. Purdimans license plate was clearly visible
in the trunk. A further search of the house revealed Purdimans clothing,
rags with Purdimans blood on them, a casino ticket of Purdimans, and ammunition
that matched the type causing Purdimans death. Purdimans blood was also found
on the front passenger floor mat and trunk mat of Alkhalidis car.
Alkhalidi was tried in St. Joseph County, convicted of murder, robbery, and theft,
and was sentenced to sixty-five years imprisonment.
I. Sufficiency of the Evidence
Alkhalidi contends there was insufficient evidence to establish either jurisdiction in Indiana or
venue in St. Joseph County. He also challenges the sufficiency of the
evidence to support the conviction for robbery. Our standard for reviewing sufficiency
of the evidence claims is well settled. We do not reweigh the
evidence or judge the credibility of the witnesses, Harrison v. State, 707 N.E.2d
767, 788 (Ind. 1999), and it lies within the jurys exclusive province to
weigh conflicting evidence, Robinson v. State, 699 N.E.2d 1146, 1148 (Ind. 1998).
We will affirm the trial court if the probative evidence and reasonable inferences
drawn from the evidence could have allowed a reasonable trier of fact to
find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Tobar v. State, 740
N.E.2d 109, 111-12 (Ind. 2000).
Alkhalidi contends that Indiana did not have jurisdiction of his case because the
State did not prove jurisdiction beyond a reasonable doubt. Jurisdiction is considered
an element of the offense. Sundling v. State, 679 N.E.2d 988, 991
(Ind. Ct. App. 1997). Indiana has jurisdiction if either the conduct that
is an element of the offense or the result that is an element
occurs in Indiana. Ind. Code § 35-41-1-1(b)(1) (1998); McKinney v. State, 553
N.E.2d 860, 862 (Ind. Ct. App. 1990), trans. denied. Jurisdiction must be
proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Sundling, 679 N.E.2d at 991.
Much of Alkhalidis argument rests on Michigan law that would give Michigan jurisdiction.
This argument is unpersuasive. Two states can each have concurrent criminal
jurisdiction over a crime with the proper nexus to both. Cf. Archer
v. State, 106 Ind. 426, 432, 7 N.E. 225, 228 (1886) (There is,
as we understand the authorities, no real conflict of opinion as to the
power of the Legislature to provide for punishment of a crime partly committed
in one jurisdiction and partly in another, in either jurisdiction . . .
.); Kiser v. Woods, 60 Ind. 538 (1878) (prosecution for larceny allowed in
Indiana where defendant obtains money and plans scheme in Ohio, but completes scheme
in Indiana). Whether Michigan could also have tried Alkhalidi is irrelevant.
The jury was instructed that it had to find jurisdiction beyond a reasonable
doubt. There was sufficient evidence for the jury to conclude that either
the conductthe robbery and/or shootingor the resultthe taking of property and/or deathoccurred in
Indiana. Purdiman was last seen in St. Joseph County, Indiana. He
had announced his intention to go with Alkhalidi west to Michigan City, Indiana,
not north to Michigan.
He had a large amount of cash that
might or might not have been in his possession after the contemplated casino
visit. On May 3 or 4 Purdimans car was seen outside Alkhalidis
home. No blood was found near Purdimans body, suggesting that he was
not killed where his body was found. The blood in Alkhalidis car
points to the car as the place where Purdiman was murdered. Many
of Purdimans personal effects (clothing, a cell phone, drivers license, and a dinner
ticket) were found at Alkhalidis residence. This evidence was sufficient for the
jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Purdiman was killed in the
course of a robbery that took place at least in part in Indiana.
In addition, Alkhalidi was convicted of theft for exerting unauthorized control over
Purdimans license plate. This crime clearly occurred in Indiana because the police
found Alkhalidi with the plate outside of his home in St. Joseph County.
Where a defendant is charged with multiple crimes that are integrally related, jurisdiction
over all the crimes is proper if some of them occurred in Indiana.
Conrad v. State, 262 Ind. 446, 450-51, 317 N.E.2d 789, 791-92 (1974).
In Conrad, this Court affirmed a conviction for kidnapping and manslaughter, pointing
out that [t]here was substantial evidence presented from which the jury could find
that the assault and abduction of the victim were integrally related to the
victims murder. Thus viewed, the assault and abduction provide an adequate jurisdictional
base for appellants conviction of murder in Wayne County, Indiana. Id. at
451, 317 N.E.2d at 792. As a result, Indiana had jurisdiction over
the prosecution. The same reasoning applies here.
The right to be tried in the county in which an offense was
committed is a constitutional and a statutory right. See Ind. Const. art.
I, § 13; Ind. Code § 35-32-2-1(a); Weaver v. State, 583 N.E.2d 136,
140-41 (Ind. 1991). Venue is not an element of the offense.
Sizemore v. State, 272 Ind. 26, 31, 395 N.E.2d 783, 787 (1979).
Accordingly, although the State is required to prove venue, it may be established
by a preponderance of the evidence and need not be proved beyond a
reasonable doubt. Id.
Venue is usually an issue for determination by the jury. 16B William
Andrew Kerr, Indiana Practice § 22.9f(2) (1998); see also Joyner v. State, 678
N.E.2d 386, 390 (Ind. 1997) (venue issue submitted to the jury). This
is because venue typically turns on an issue of fact, i.e., where certain
acts occurred. If so, it is appropriate for the court to instruct
the jury on venue. Cutter v. State, 725 N.E.2d 401, 408-09 (Ind.
2000). The jury was instructed that it had to unanimously find that
venue had been established in St. Joseph County. The same facts pointing
to jurisdiction in Indiana also suggest venue in St. Joseph County.
Alkhalidi contends that there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him
of robbery. To convict Alkhalidi for robbery, the State was required to
prove that Alkhalidi: (1) knowingly or intentionally (2) took money (3) from the
presence of Purdiman (4) by use of force or threat of force and
(5) while armed with a deadly weapon or resulting in bodily injury to
any person other than Alkhalidi. Ind. Code § 35-42-5-1.
It is clear from the record that Alkhalidi was experiencing acute financial difficulty
immediately preceding Purdimans murder. It is also clear that Alkhalidis cash position
had improved dramatically only one day after Purdimans murder. Purdiman was last
seen on his way to Alkhalidis house with a large sum of money.
Purdiman was found dead from a gunshot wound and Alkhalidi was in
possession of several items of Purdimans property, including his clothes and license plate.
Force with a deadly weapon was plainly used. These constitute sufficient
evidence of all the necessary elements of robbery.
II. Alibi Witnesses
Alkhalidi contends that because the State did not specify the exact date and
location of the crime, his ability to provide an effective alibi defense was
impeded. Additionally, Alkhalidi contends that the trial court abused its discretion by
limiting his alibi witnesses to those who were fully named in his witness
Alkhalidi filed a belated notice of alibi defense on July 27, 1999, after
the deadline to file a notice of alibi defense had passed. The
State responded that it relied upon the charging information, which placed the death
of Purdiman on or about May 3 and before May 8. On
October 7, at a pretrial hearing, the trial court informed Alkhalidi that if
he did not provide complete information for his alibi witnesses he would not
be allowed to call them.
Although the State did not give the exact date or location of the
crime, it was required to state the time of the offense with such
reasonable specificity as the circumstances of the case allow. Bruce v. State,
268 Ind. 180, 207, 375 N.E.2d 1042, 1058 (1978). Here, there were
no eyewitnesses to the crime and the medical testimony was inconclusive as to
the exact time of death. The State could not be more specific
than on or about May 3, 1999. This did not prevent Alkhalidi
from presenting his alibi defense. See Joyner v. State, 678 N.E.2d 386,
394 (Ind. 1997).
Furthermore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow
Alkhalidi to call witnesses for whom he had not provided complete names and
addresses. Alkhalidi did not timely file his notice of alibi, and the
trial court could have properly refused to allow Alkhalidi to present any alibi
witnesses at all. Alkhalidi was not unfairly prejudiced when the trial court
granted his motion to filed a belated alibi notice, but placed some restrictions
on which witnesses Alkhalidi would be allowed to call.
In any event, the trial court gave Alkhalidi notice that he needed to
provide complete names and addresses in order to be allowed to call the
witnesses on his list. Because one of the objectives of the statute
is to allow the State sufficient notice to rebut the defendants alibi defense,
Baxter v. State, 522 N.E.2d 362, 369 (Ind. 1988), the trial court did
not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow Alkhalidi to call witnesses for
which he did not provide this information. See Herrera v. State, 679
N.E.2d 1322, 1324-25 (Ind. 1997) (not abuse of discretion to refuse to allow
defendant to call alibi witnesses when information on them was not disclosed until
five days before trial).
The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON, SULLIVAN, and RUCKER, JJ., concur.
There was conflicting testimony concerning whether Purdiman was headed to Michigan or
Michigan City. However, it was reasonable for the jury to conclude from
this conflicting testimony that Purdiman was headed to Michigan City. The testimony
showing he was headed to Michigan also showed he was headed to Michigan
City first, and it was there that the events leading to Purdimans robbery
and murder began. It is for the trier of fact to judge
credibility, and we will affirm if a reasonable fact-finder could reach a particular
Harrison, 707 N.E.2d at 788.
Alkhalidi was charged and convicted of robbery as a Class A felony.
However, the trial court entered judgment of conviction for robbery as a
Class B felony.
Footnote: Under this heading, Alkhalidi also claims that the State was allowed to
add witnesses and amend charges after the omnibus date. Although it is
not clear how these allegations relate to Alkhalidis alibi defense, these decisions are
reviewed for an abuse of the trial courts discretion, which was not present