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Pavel Nery-Gonzalez, Appellant-Defendant, v. State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
 In August of 2019, Pavel Nery-Gonzalez stabbed Angel Cruz four times in a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in Wayne County. After Cruz succumbed to his injuries, the State charged Nery-Gonzalez with murder. A jury found Nery-Gonzalez guilty as charged, and the trial court sentenced him to fifty-five years of incarceration. Nery-Gonzalez contends that the State failed to produce sufficient evidence to rebut his claim that he had acted in self-defense. Because we disagree, we affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
 On August 16, 2019, Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy T.J. Brown responded to a dispatch reporting a tractor-trailer stopped in the right lane of Interstate 70. Deputy Brown arrived at approximately 6:24 p.m., observed no hazard light, and, by the time he arrived, the truck was on the shoulder. Deputy Brown approached the passenger side of the vehicle and observed that the door was partially open. Nery-Gonzalez was in the passenger seat, with his leg dangling partially out of the cabin. Nery-Gonzalez exited the passenger seat, said “[d]ead[,]” and removed a knife from his pocket, which he handed to Deputy Brown. Tr. Vol. II p. 222. Nery-Gonzalez then placed his hands on the side of the truck and told Deputy Brown, “I stabbed him.” Tr. Vol. II p. 223.
 Deputy Brown looked inside the cabin and saw Cruz leaning over in his seat, stabbed and in distress. Deputy Brown called for emergency responders and supervising officers and put on his gloves before examining the interior of the cabin. Cruz was leaning to his left and the inside of the cabin was covered in blood. The unresponsive Cruz had a light pulse and was no longer bleeding, and his breathing was shallow.
 Deputy Brown parked his police vehicle in the right-hand lane to reroute traffic, and other officers and emergency personnel arrived at the scene. Cruz was wearing headphones and, although his seatbelt was not buckled, it was wedged between his legs and stomach, also covered in blood. Cruz, who weighed over 400 pounds, was breathing approximately six to eight times per minute and had lost a substantial amount of blood, which one emergency responder estimated at between one half and two liters out of a normal amount of five or six liters.
 Responding officers and emergency personnel observed several stab wounds to the right side of Cruz's neck in the carotid area, towards the ear, towards the collarbone, and to the deltoid of the right shoulder. After arriving at the hospital, Cruz was placed on a ventilator, experienced cardiac arrest during treatment, required transfer to another facility, and died a few days later.
 Meanwhile, officers executing a warrant to search the truck's cabin found that nothing inside appeared to have been broken or knocked down or out of order. Items inside the cabin, including a cooler, a CB radio set, a wallet, bottles, and eyeglasses, were all in place, unbroken, and intact. Sergeant Chad Kircher, who assisted with the investigation, found that, other than the presence of Cruz's blood covering the cabin, the contents were neat, nothing appeared to have been moved, and the interior of the truck showed no signs of struggle. In Sergeant Kircher's experience, and that of crime scene investigator Jeremy Franklin's, when an altercation has occurred between two males, the common result is to find things knocked out of place, moved, or broken, but this was not the case inside the cabin, which showed no signs of physical struggle.
 Moreover, Nery-Gonzalez showed no signs of injury, did not complain about any injuries or pain, and required no medical treatment. Lead Detective Nicholas Clevenger was familiar from his experience with the nature of defensive injuries, looked for them on Nery-Gonzalez, and found none. Detective Clevenger later noted that officers would have been required to note such injuries on jail documents, but none had been reported.
 The State ultimately charged Nery-Gonzalez with murder. At Nery-Gonzalez's trial, which was held from May 9 to May 12, 2022, he testified that he had been sleeping in the top bunk in the back of the cabin when Cruz had attempted to pull him down. According to Nery-Gonzalez, he had been holding onto a post to prevent this when Cruz had grabbed a knife from a cup holder, which he had managed to take away from him. Nery-Gonzalez testified that he had stabbed Cruz, left the cabin through the passenger-side door, and returned a short while later to find Cruz slumped over in the driver's seat. The jury found Nery-Gonzalez guilty as charged. On July 19, 2022, the trial court sentenced Nery-Gonzalez to fifty-five years of incarceration.
Discussion and Decision
 Nery-Gonzalez does not deny killing Cruz, but he contends that the State failed to rebut his claim that he had acted in self-defense:
When a defendant challenges the State's sufficiency of the evidence to rebut a claim of self-defense, the standard of review remains the same as for any sufficiency of the evidence claim. We neither reweigh the evidence nor assess the credibility of witnesses but look solely to the evidence most favorable to the judgment with all reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. We will affirm a conviction where such evidence and reasonable inferences constitute substantial evidence of probative value sufficient to support the judgment.
Self-defense is recognized as a valid justification for an otherwise criminal act. When raised, a defendant must establish that he or she was in a place where he or she had the right to be, acted without fault, and was in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or great bodily harm. Once a defendant claims self-defense, the State bears the burden of disproving at least one of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt for the defendant's claim to fail. The State may meet this burden by rebutting the defense directly, by affirmatively showing the defendant did not act in self-defense, or by simply relying upon the sufficiency of its evidence in chief. Whether the State has met its burden is a question of fact for the jury.
Miller v. State, 720 N.E.2d 696, 699–700 (Ind. 1999) (citations omitted).
 A valid claim of self-defense is a legal justification for an otherwise criminal act. Wallace v. State, 725 N.E.2d 837, 840 (Ind. 2000). “A person is justified in using reasonable force against any other person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force.” Ind. Code § 35-41-3-2(c). A claim of self-defense requires a defendant to have acted without fault in a place where he or she had a right to be and in reasonable fear or apprehension of bodily harm. White v. State, 699 N.E.2d 630, 635 (Ind. 1998); Henson v. State, 786 N.E.2d 274, 277 (Ind. 2003). Once the defendant asserts a claim of self-defense, the State bears the burden of disproving the existence of one of the elements of the claim. Mariscal v. State, 687 N.E.2d 378, 381 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997), trans. denied. The State may rebut the claim either by affirmatively showing that the defendant had not acted to defend himself or by relying on the evidence elicited in the case-in-chief. Id.
 We have little trouble concluding that the evidence presented during the State's case-in-chief sufficiently rebutted any claim that Nery-Gonzalez had acted in self-defense. First and foremost, there was no evidence whatsoever to corroborate Nery-Gonzalez's claim that Cruz had been the instigator of any struggle or, indeed, that any struggle had occurred. Officers found that nothing inside of the cabin appeared to have been broken or knocked down and nothing inside appeared to be out of order. Deputy Kircher testified that, other than the presence of Cruz's blood covering the cabin, the contents had been neat, nothing appeared to have been moved, and the interior of the truck had shown no signs of struggle. In Deputy Kircher's experience, and that of crime scene investigator Franklin's, when an altercation has occurred between two males, the common result is to find things knocked out of place, moved, or broken, but this had not been the case inside the cabin, which had shown no sign of a physical struggle.
 Moreover, evidence regarding Nery-Gonzalez's condition immediately after the incident also undercuts any claim that he had been involved in the kind of confrontation that would cause a person to fear harm or fear for his life or well-being. The State presented testimony that Nery-Gonzalez had shown no signs of injury, had no complaints about injuries or pain, and required no medical treatment. Detective Clevenger was familiar from his experience with the nature of defensive injuries, had looked for them on Nery-Gonzalez, and had found none.
 Finally, the jury was free to conclude that Cruz's condition when found was inconsistent with Nery-Gonzalez's version of the incident. Cruz had suffered four stab wounds to the neck and carotid-artery area. The jury heard evidence that Cruz had been found slumped over in the driver's seat with headphones on and his seatbelt wedged between his stomach and legs. This evidence supports a reasonable inference that Nery-Gonzalez had stabbed Cruz while he was buckled into the driver's seat—perhaps while the truck was in motion—and that Cruz had then attempted to free himself before losing consciousness. The jury was also free to infer that any significant physical confrontation with Nery-Gonzalez would have dislodged Cruz's headphones, which had not happened.
 The only evidence offered in support of Nery-Gonzalez's self-defense theory was his own testimony. The jury, however, was not required to credit any part of Nery-Gonzalez's testimony, and apparently did not. In the end, Nery-Gonzalez's argument is nothing more than an invitation to reweigh the evidence, which we will not do. See Miller, 720 N.E.2d at 699. Nery-Gonzalez has not established that the State failed to rebut his claim of self-defense.
 We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Memorandum Decision by Judge Bradford
Judges Riley and Weissmann concur. Riley, J., and Weissmann, J., concur.
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Docket No: Court of Appeals Case No. 22A-CR-1876
Decided: May 19, 2023
Court: Court of Appeals of Indiana.
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