Woman’s battery conviction reversed due to fatal variance


Jennfer Nelson for www.theindianlawyer.com

A couple arrested after they screamed and resisted arrest at a local Department of Child Services’ office after learning their child was being removed from their care had all but one of their convictions from the incident upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday.

Adegoke Adetokunbo and Grace Itaniyi have a child together and were the subject of a DCS investigation, leading to the conclusion the child needed to be removed from their care. After learning the child would be taken away, Itaniyi began screaming and the DCS security guard, Luis Flores, and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer Perry Renn intervened.

When the couple refused to hand over the child, a scuffle ensued in which Adetokunbo punched Flores and Itaniyi pushed Renn away. Adetokunbo stiffened his arms when Renn tried to handcuff him, and Itaniyi, once handcuffed, tried to kick the officer.

They were both convicted of Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, Class B misdemeanor battery, and Itaniyi was also convicted of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. They both appeal their convictions in Adegoke Adetokunbo aka Robert Adesanoye, and Grace Itaniyi v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1407-CR-511.

The judges found sufficient evidence to support both of Adetokunbo’s convictions and two of Itaniyi’s convictions. But they reversed her battery conviction based because the charging information said Itaniyi touched the security guard. The state failed to present any evidence she made any contact with Flores, but there was testimony she pushed Renn.

The state argued this was an immaterial variance, but the judges disagreed. In this case, it was necessary for the information to name the correct victim. This is a material, fatal variance under Indiana Supreme Court precedent, therefore her conviction must be reversed and vacated, the COA held.