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Admitting rifle into evidence not abuse of discretion, COA rules

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Telling the jury that an assault rifle was found in the car of the defendant did not unduly prejudice the jurors, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

Joseph Fuentes was convicted of Class A felony attempted murder, Class C felony possession of a handgun by a felon, Class D felony criminal recklessness and Class D felony resisting law enforcement after he fled from South Bend police officers and fired a gun at one of the officers who pursued him on foot.

Fuentes appealed his convictions, in part, on the grounds that the trial court erred in admitting evidence about the AR-15 rifle found in the trunk of his car. He claimed the weapon was irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction in Joseph Fuentes v. State of Indiana, 71A04-1310-CR-522. The unanimous panel ruled the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the rifle into evidence.

“Here is it clear that the presence of a rifle, which was not registered to Fuentes, in the trunk of Fuentes’s car was relevant to the question of Fuentes’s motive to flee from the police,” wrote Judge Paul Mathias. “That is, the presence of the rifle made it more likely that Fuentes had a reason to flee from the police when he was ordered to stop. And we do not think that the relevance of this rifle was substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.”
 

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  1. Is it possible to amend an order for child support due to false paternity?

  2. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  3. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  4. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  5. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

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