No Constitutional Error in Criminal Defense Case

Steven Wade Childress appeals his conviction for level 3 felony armed robbery. He argues that the trial court clearly erred in rejecting his claim, commonly known as a Batson claim, that the prosecutor’s peremptory challenge to a potential juror was improperly based on the juror’s race. Finding no error, we affirm.

In October 2015, Childress and Demerio Strong went to a party at T.B.’s house. Childress and Strong discussed committing a robbery. T.B. texted Darren Sloss that his cousin was at her house and he should come over. Sloss drove to T.B.’s and parked behind her house. When Sloss went in the house, he did not see his cousin and decided to leave. He exited the house and was attacked outside by Childress and Strong. Strong held a gun to the back of his head and forced him to the ground. Childress and Strong asked him for money. While he was on the ground, Sloss saw Childress rummaging around his car. Sloss was kicked, punched, and pistol-whipped. Some of his clothing was ripped off. Several women came outside, prompting Childress and Strong to run away. Sloss walked to a hospital and reported the robbery. Police found his clothes and wallet behind T.B.’s house, but the money in his wallet, about $200, was gone.

Read the whole opinion here.

Randall Parr is an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney. Contact him today.