ILNews

Court reverses motion-to-dismiss denial

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a defendant's motion to dismiss because he was improperly subjected to successive prosecutions prohibited under Indiana Code 35-41-4-4.

In Virgil Lee Haywood, Jr. v. State of Indiana, 48A02-0612-CR-1131, police approached Haywood after an alleged drunk-driving incident. Haywood's child was in his car, and he smelled of alcohol and failed several field sobriety tests. Haywood struggled with police and kicked an officer in the leg while refusing to sit in the back a police car. Haywood was charged in Madison County Court with neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony; operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor; operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more, a Class C misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class D felony.

In City Court, Haywood was charged with battery against a police officer, resisting law enforcement, and violation of probation. Haywood pleaded guilty to the City Court charges under a plea agreement.

He later filed a motion to dismiss the charges in county court, claiming prosecution on those charges was barred by previous prosecution of the City Court charges. The trial court denied his motion.

The Court of Appeals looked to Williams v. State, 762 N.E.2d 1216, 1219 (Ind. 2002) to determine whether the trial court properly denied Haywood's motion. The court had to decide if Haywood's offenses were part of a single scheme or plan that would require they should have been joined in the initial prosecution, which is required under the Successive Prosecution Statute to bar prosecution by reason of a previous prosecution.

The state conceded Haywood's charges all relate to the same incident but his motive for each conviction was different enough to warrant separate cases.

Just as in Williams, the defendant in this case committed a crime and then committed another in an attempt to avoid being caught for the original offenses. The court in Williams held that Williams' flight from the arresting officer did not break the continuity of the defendant's acts to require separate trials.

"As in Williams, it is apparent that Haywood's offenses were part of a single scheme or plan, and the Successive Prosecution Statute bars further prosecution on the (County Court) charges," wrote Chief Judge John Baker.
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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