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COA cites double jeopardy clause in reversal of conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a truck driver who caused an accident that killed a highway worker should not have been convicted of two Class C felonies, citing double jeopardy standards.

Gravel truck driver William Hurt had driven through a workzone on Interstate 164 several times on the day his truck slammed into a parked Indiana Department of Transportation truck. The INDOT vehicle, driven by Mark Shepherdson, was an “arrow board truck,” equipped with a large flashing arrow, directing motorists from the driving lane to the passing lane. Shepherdson died as a result of the crash.

In its consideration of William Hurt v. State of Indiana, No. 82A04-1006-CR-414, the appeals court affirmed Hurt’s conviction of Class C felony reckless disregard of a traffic control device in a highway workzone resulting in death, stating Hurt had seen the multiple construction warnings repeatedly before the crash. However, the court reversed a second conviction – Class C felony reckless operation of a vehicle in a highway workzone resulting in death – stating the same evidence had been considered in determining both convictions.

Citing Spivey v. State, 761 N.E.2d 831 (Ind. 2002), the appeals court ruled that the state likely violated the Indiana Constitution’s prohibition against double jeopardy by relying on the same evidence for Hurt’s dual convictions.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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