Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 19, 1982
Date of birth: June 1, 1962
Victim profile: Robert Falkner, 41
Method of murder: Shooting (shotgun)
Location: Marion County, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death May 27, 1983. Commuted to life November 22, 1994



DOB: 06-01-1962
DOC#: 21486 Black Male

Marion County Superior Court
Judge Patricia J. Gifford

Prosecutor: David E. Cook

Defense: Grant W. Hawkins

Date of Murder: October 19, 1982

Victim(s): Robert Falkner W/M/41 (No relationship to Van Cleave)

Method of Murder: shooting with shotgun

Summary: Robert Falkner was outside his home one night working by floodlight caulking a window while watching the World Series on television. He was shot in the chest with a shotgun.

Van Cleave, Brazleton, Coleman and Sims were driving around geting high with liquor and marijuana looking for someone to rob when they came upon Falkner. Sims and Van Cleave got out, with Van Cleave carrying a shotgun.

Van Cleave confronted Falkner and a neighbor overhead Falkner say "What do you mean, 'shut up.'" Van Cleave then shot Falkner in the chest and fled.

Van Cleave admitted shooting Falkner, but claimed that "the gun just went off," and that the shooting was accidental. Brazleton and Coleman testified after reaching plea agreements with the State. Ballistics experts confirmed that the shot was fired from a distance from 6-8 feet

Conviction: Pled Guilty to Felony-Murder (Conspiracy to Commit Robbery dismissed as part of Plea agreement. The agreement allowed both sides to present evidence and arguments on a death sentence and intent, but commanded 60 years imprisonment if a death sentence was not imposed)

Sentencing: May 27, 1983 (Death Sentence)

Aggravating Circumstances: b (1) Robbery

Mitigating Circumstances: 20 years old at the time of murder, intoxication, bad home life, failed stint in the Army-Honorable Discharge, could not find a job after Army

Special Judge Thomas Gray denies PCR relief. Following new sentencing hearing, Special Judge Thomas Gray rules that State has not satisfied burden of proof and a death sentence is removed form consideration. On 06-05-98 Van Cleave is resentenced to 60 years imprisonment.


Gregory Van Cleave



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