ILNews

Court rules marriage not valid, affirms sentence

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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A woman who helped her husband flee from police after committing three murders in southern Indiana can be convicted of assisting a criminal because her marriage is void in Indiana, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

In Misty D. Davis v. State of Indiana, No. 63A01-0712-CR-605, the Court of Appeals today upheld Misty Davis' convictions of and sentence for assisting a criminal in murder and giving a false statement to law enforcement. Davis' husband, Nick Harbison, attacked four people, resulting in three of the victims' deaths. When Harbison returned home following the attacks, he was covered in blood and told Davis that he "hurt a couple of people." Davis, Harbison, their child, and Harbison's stepmother Joyce Harbison, fled from Indiana twice, traveling to Missouri and Arkansas. Eventually, they returned home to Indiana where Harbison and Davis hid for several days before Harbison turned himself in to police.

Davis claimed her marriage to Harbison in Kentucky exempted her from Indiana's aiding a criminal liability, which says a parent, child, or spouse of the offender can't be held liable for assisting a criminal. But Davis' marriage in Kentucky is void in Indiana, wrote Judge James Kirsch. Indiana doesn't recognize their marriage because they went to Kentucky to evade Indiana's marriage laws; Davis was underage at the time and didn't have her mother's consent. Because the marriage was entered into under false pretenses, it's void in Indiana, so the trial court didn't err in denying Davis' motion to dismiss, wrote the judge.

The appellate court also upheld the trial court denial of Davis' motion to dismiss based on venue, admitting graphic testimony and photographs of the murders during her trial, the jury instruction detailing Indiana's marriage laws, and the use of the presentence investigation report at her sentence hearing.

The Indiana Court of Appeals found her aggregate sentence of six years executed was not excessive.
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  1. Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in December, but U.S. District Judge Robert Miller later reduced that to about $540,000 to put the damages for suffering under the statutory cap of $300,000.

  2. I was trying to remember, how did marriage get gay in Kentucky, did the people vote for it? Ah no, of course not. It was imposed by judicial fiat. The voted-for official actually represents the will of the majority in the face of an unelected federal judiciary. But democracy only is just a slogan for the powerful, they trot it out when they want and call it bigotry etc when they don't.

  3. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  4. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  5. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

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