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Appeals court vacates lesser drug conviction as double jeopardy

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A Paoli man convicted of multiple drug offenses had a lesser conviction vacated Tuesday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court let stand other convictions for which he was sentenced to an aggregate 16 years in prison.

In Jerid T. Bennett v. State of Indiana, 59A05-1306-CR-277, the panel let stand convictions, rendered in a jury trial, of Class B felony dealing in cocaine, Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. But the panel vacated a conviction of Class D felony possession of cocaine, finding it is barred by double jeopardy.

Bennett failed to prevail on his other appellate claims. He argued certain evidence should not have been admitted, the state should not have been allowed to show text messages to the jury during closing arguments, and that the court erred in allowing the state to amend charging information.

Judge Cale Bradford wrote for the panel that police had probable cause to issue a search warrant for Bennett’s home that turned up drug evidence presented to the jury.

With regard to the admission of text messages detailing a drug transaction, Bradford wrote, “In light of the substantial independent evidence of Bennett’s guilt, we conclude that the admission of the challenged exhibits was at most harmless. As such, we further conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the challenged evidence at trial."

 

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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