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Appellate court affirms murder conviction; reverses on corpse abuse conviction

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The erroneous admission at trial of a statement a man made to police unquestionably influenced the jury verdicts regarding his convictions of burglary and abuse of a corpse, causing the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse those convictions. But the COA affirmed his conviction of and sentence for murder.

In Nathan Anderson v. State of Indiana, No. 49A05-1105-CR-243, Nathan Anderson crawled through an open window and stabbed Jane Pepper numerous times, killing her. He also had sexual intercourse either before or after the murder, and he told police during an interview that his intent in entering the apartment was to rob Pepper.

A jury found Anderson guilty of murder, Class B felony burglary and Class D felony abuse of a corpse. On appeal, Anderson claimed that a buccal swab that produced DNA evidence linking him to the crime – obtained by police after he was convicted of another felony – was a violation of Indiana statute and his federal and state constitutional rights.

The COA held that the DNA evidence was obtained by “mistake,” which constitutes a valid exception to the applicable statute and federal and state exclusionary rules. But the appellate court agreed that Anderson was denied his right to counsel during questioning, and that the questioning ultimately resulted in Anderson making statements about his motive for burglary and his abuse of Pepper’s corpse. The COA therefore reversed those convictions and sentences and held that he could be retried on those charges.

The court held sufficient findings of fact support the murder conviction and his sentence of 65 years is appropriate in light of the nature of the murder.  


 

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  1. For many years this young man was "family" being my cousin's son. Then he decided to ignore my existence and that of my daughter who was very hurt by his actions after growing up admiring, Jason. Glad he is doing well, as for his opinion, if you care so much you wouldn't ignore the feelings of those who cared so much about you for years, Jason.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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