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. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

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  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon