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Appeals court reverses student's convictions

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a teenager's convictions for battery and disorderly conduct stemming from a face-off with an assistant principal and dean of students in the school cafeteria.

In Christopher Bailey v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0801-CR-65, the court unanimously reversed the two misdemeanor convictions resulting from an incident in November 2007 at Perry Meridian High School in Marion County.

An assistant principal confronted Christopher Bailey while he was in a cafeteria line for breakfast and told him to pull up his pants, but the student refused and started to walk toward another line. The assistant principal put out her arm and directed him to the dean's office, but Bailey bumped into her arm as he walked away. The dean of students confronted Bailey, who then threw down his drink and coat, put his face about 9 inches from the dean, balled his fists, and cursed at the school official. Bailey was charged with battery and disorderly conduct, and was convicted at a bench trial before Marion Superior Judge Rebekah Pierson-Treacy.

In reviewing the case, the appellate court determined the state didn't prove that Bailey conducted battery because it didn't show that his conduct of walking into the assistant principal's outstretched arm constituted "knowing" battery, that Bailey knew he was going to bump into her arm.

The court also relied on caselaw to determine that the disorderly conduct shouldn't stand because it can't be defined as "tumultuous conduct" that would result in serious bodily injury or substantial damage to property. The state urged at trial that Bailey should be convicted because the harm was impending and could likely result in actions from the defendant, but the appellate judges rejected that argument.

"Bailey was close to (the dean's) face and yelling obscenities, but one could not reasonably expect (he), as the Dean of Students, would respond to Bailey's tirade with physical aggression," the court wrote. "Because Bailey's behavior was not 'tumultuous,' we reverse his conviction of disorderly conduct."

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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