Making False Statements

In general

• Where one charged with a crime denies, or gives a false account of, a circumstance or suspicious fact, tending to connect him with the offense, such denial may be regarded as a criminal circumstance proper to go to the jury.

Davidson v. State, 187 N.E. 376, 379 (Ind. 1933)(citing McDonel v. State, 90 Ind. 320, 326-27 (Ind. 1883))


• The fact that some of [the defendant’s] statements may have been true does not change the fact that they were false with respect to the hours critical in this case. We agree with the State that to the extent [the defendant’s] exculpatory statements were false, they were admissible to show his consciousness of guilt.

Grimes v. State, 450 N.E.2d 512, 522 (Ind. 1983)

• Here, [the defendant’s] attempt to conceal [the victim’s] murder and his lies about [the victim’s] whereabouts could be considered by the jury as evidence of [the defendant’s] guilt and assigned whatever weight and value the jury thought appropriate.

Davis v. State, 635 N.E.2d 1117, 1120 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994)

As applied to false testimony before a grand jury

• Where one voluntarily goes before a grand jury to testify in an attempt to cover up by false testimony evidence of guilt, such testimony becomes material as evidence of a consciousness of guilt the same as flight and other such acts.

Matthew v. State, 337 N.E.2d 821, 824 (Ind. 1975), reh’g denied

Merely denying ownership of an item

• The State argues in its brief that [the defendant] exhibited behavior indicating a consciousness of guilt because he denied that the syringe was his but testified to a different story at trial and allegedly hid the syringe. Merely denying ownership of an item without more is insufficient to indicate a consciousness of guilt.

Sluder v. State, 997 N.E.2d 1178, 1182 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013)

False alibis

• [T]he law is more than formal logic and common experience tells us that under some circumstances a person will attempt to fabricate an alibi in an effort to deflect prosecution for a crime in which the person has been involved. . . . Our decisions have committed to the sound discretion of the trial judge the determination of whether the circumstances are such that a consciousness of guilt might be reasonably inferred from such a false statement and whether the probative value of such evidence is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.

McKinstry v. State, 660 N.E.2d 1052, 1053 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996), trans. denied