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December 9, 2019

Attorney Justin Boren Obtains Favorable Verdict in Attempted Murder Jury Trial

Photo of Attorney Justin Boren

Boren, Oliver & Coffey, LLP congratulates attorney Justin Boren on his most recent verdict in the jury trial of the case State of Indiana v. Joshua Self. Joshua Self was charged with 9 counts: Count 1 Attempted Murder as a Level 1 Felony; Count 2 Criminal Confinement Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury as a Level 3 Felony; Count 3 Domestic Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury as a Level 5 Felony; Count 4 Domestic Battery with Bodily Injury to a Person Under 14 Years of Age as a Level 5 Felony; Count 5 Domestic Battery in the Presence of a Child as a Level 6 Felony; Count 6 Strangulation as a Level 6 Felony; Count 7 Intimidation as a Level 6 Felony; Count 8 Intimidation as a Level 6 Felony; and Count 9 Disorderly Conduct as an A Misdemeanor. If found guilty at trial, Joshua Self was looking at the possibility of more than 50 years in prison with a minimum sentence of 20 years.

After a 4 day trial attorney Justin Boren secured a not guilty verdict on Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8. At attorney Justin Boren’s request during final argument, the jury found Joshua Self guilty of strangulation, battery, and disorderly conduct.

At trial, the State of Indiana called two expert witnesses and three other supporting witnesses. The State of Indiana began their case in chief by calling an expert witness on domestic violence over attorney Justin Boren’s objection. The domestic violence expert, though she never conducted any investigation of this particular case, gave an expert opinion about the mechanics of domestic violence, including reasons why victims will change their story and recant, as well as the mechanics of strangulation. On cross examination Justin Boren discredited the domestic violence expert’s credentials, her experience, and her conclusions. He also took the expert witness to task on her conclusion that strangulation was always an attempt to, “take a life” pointing out that there are several other reasons one may engage in strangulation including to subdue another person, self-defense, or even sexual gratification. All of which flew in the face of her conclusions.

The State of Indiana also called the complaining witness, a forensic nurse, and finally the investigating officer. Attorney Justin Boren again cross examined each witness pointing out holes in the investigation and the rush to conclusions by the witnesses.

During Final Argument, attorney Justin Boren asked that the jury return a verdict of guilty to domestic battery, strangulation, intimidation, and disorderly conduct. Justin Boren argued that although his client was guilty of the aforementioned crimes, his client in no way inflicted injuries that could be found to meet the definition of “serious bodily injury” and that the State failed to prove specific intent to kill, a required element of attempted murder.

After a lengthy deliberation, the jury rendered verdicts almost exactly as requested by attorney Justin Boren. Weeks later at a sentencing hearing Joshua Self was sentenced to 3 ½ years for the guilty verdicts of strangulation, intimidation, and disorderly conduct.