Hawkins v. StateAnnotate this Case
Defendant, a North Carolina resident, was charged in Indiana with two counts of non-support of a dependent. After the trial date was set, Defendant's public defender filed a motion to withdraw. The trial court granted the motion to withdraw after Defendant failed to appear for a hearing on the motion. Defendant subsequently failed to appear in court the morning of his trial date, so he was tried in absentia. A jury found him guilty on both counts. Defendant arrived at the courthouse that afternoon and was immediately taken into custody. The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's convictions and remanded for a new trial, holding that based on the particular facts and circumstances of this case, the trial court abused its discretion in trying Defendant in absentia, without counsel.