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Appellate court upholds murder conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found the circumstantial evidence presented at trial was sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a man killed his wife.

In Scott Pattison v. State of Indiana, No. 85A02-1101-CR-88, Scott Pattison challenged his felony murder conviction, arguing the trial court violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment and Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution by admitting surveillance equipment and video into evidence. He also claimed the trial court abused its discretion by allowing the jury to examine a weightlifting machine during deliberations and by refusing his request to question the jurors about their examination of the machine.

Pattison called 911 to say that his wife, Lisa, wasn’t breathing; she later died at the hospital. Pattison told police that he had come home from work to find his wife’s body in their exercise room, lying on a weightlifting bench with a weight bar pinned across her throat. Police saw Pattison’s home had a surveillance system but didn’t think it recorded anything since a DVD was missing from the slot. Police later learned that the surveillance system recorded to an internal hard drive. A search warrant allowed for police to seize the system, which held a recording showing Pattison arriving home from work hours earlier than what he told police.

At trial, the weightlifting machine was installed in the courtroom and the jury was allowed to come back into the room during deliberations to examine it. Some jurors recreated scenarios played out during the trial by detectives and witnesses.

The appellate court found a lot of the information used in the probable cause affidavit was stale, and it was a close call, but the remaining information could support the search warrant under the federal and state constitutions. The judges also found no issues with the jurors’ examination of the weightlifting machine because the experiments the jurors conducted with it were in line with the testimony presented at trial. There was also no abuse of discretion by the trial court in denying Pattison’s request to question the jury about their experiments.

The circumstantial evidence in the case – including that the Pattisons’ marriage was under severe stress and Lisa’s neck injury wasn’t consistent with the weight bar falling on her neck – was sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Pattison killed his wife, the judges ruled.

 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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