Attorney General Todd Rokita and his appeals team have persuaded the Indiana Court of Appeals to affirm the murder conviction of a Schererville man who killed his girlfriend after years of physical violence against her. 

“Criminals need to be punished,” Attorney General Rokita said. “This domestic abuser and murderer doesn’t deserve to see the outside of a jail cell, and I’m pleased that the appellate court agreed with our argument to keep him locked up and away from our communities.”  

In this case, friends and neighbors of Michelle Brown for years saw the bruises on her face and body. 

They saw firsthand how her boyfriend, Paul E. Jarosik, became violent during the couple’s arguments. Once he allegedly slammed Brown’s head into a door. Another time he allegedly punched her. Another time he allegedly pushed her into counters and cabinets. 

Then one morning the violent boyfriend called 911 to report discovering his girlfriend dead on the couple’s couch. 

In the days following Brown’s death, Jarosik gave multiple explanations for how his girlfriend died, according to court documents. 

He told a co-worker she fell and hit her head. 

He told a neighbor she failed to take her insulin. 

He told a family member she mixed blood pressure medication with alcohol. 

But an autopsy showed Brown had multiple blunt force impacts from different directions caused by objects softer than tools or weapons — injuries consistent with being pummeled to death by someone’s fists.  

A jury found Jarosik guilty of murder. 

On appeal, the defendant raised several issues — including claiming that the trial court should have instructed the jury on the possibility of convicting Jarosik on the lesser charge of reckless homicide. At the jury trial, however, Jarosik never claimed that he unknowingly or unintentionally committed recklessness leading to his girlfriend’s death. Rather, he claimed he was not even home at the time she sustained the injuries leading to her death and therefore had nothing to do with her death at all. 

“The trial court did not err in refusing to instruct the jury on reckless homicide,” the Appeals Court stated in its decision.