ILNews

Appeals court affirms murder convictions

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's convictions of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and the finding that he is a habitual offender.

In Charles D. Boney v. State of Indiana, No. 22A01-0607-CR-310, Boney was connected to the murder of Kim Camm and her two children at home by her husband, David. Boney provided the weapon David used to murder his family and was at the Camm's home when the murder occurred.

Boney raised several issues on appeal following his jury trial and convictions. He argued his convictions should be reversed because the trial court erred in letting the state exercise a peremptory challenge on a prospective juror who was African-American; specific pretrial statements Boney gave to police officers were improperly admitted into evidence; the trial court abused its discretion by denying a motion for mistrial because of comments made by witnesses regarding Boney's previous incarceration; the trial court erred in refusing to give his proffered instruction on accomplice liability; and the trial court should have granted his motion to correct error based on juror conduct.

The appellate court found no reversible errors and affirmed the trial court's decision.

The reason the African-American prospective juror was excused was based on his responses to the juror questionnaire, not because of his race, so the denial of Boney's Baston challenge by the trial court was not an error, the court found.

Statements Boney had made to police without receiving a Miranda warning were admissible in court because he had made similar statements to another police officer he spoke to earlier that day in which he was advised of his Miranda rights. He also signed a waiver of the right to counsel.

In regards to the trial court denying Boney's motion for a mistrial, the trial court instructed the jury to disregard statements made about Boney's prior incarceration and struck a witness from the trial in order to prevent any harm that may have resulted from the testimony. Any error that may have occurred as a result of the admission of the statements or testimony stricken from the record was harmless, wrote Chief Judge John Baker.

The final jury instruction given by the trial court sufficiently informed the jury about the requirement of finding affirmative action on the part of the defendant before he can be convicted as an accomplice, so Boney's instructions for the jury did not need to be given.

Finally, Boney contended he is entitled to a new trial because of alleged juror misconduct. However, the juror Boney pointed to was excused prior to deliberations and the 11 remaining jurors signed affidavits stating that juror did not influence them nor did he ever make any racist or prejudiced statements regarding Boney. Because the juror did not participate in the deliberations nor influence the other jurors, Boney's argument fails, wrote Chief Judge Baker.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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