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Court upholds finding man committed crime of domestic violence

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that a defendant committed a crime of domestic violence, which then made it illegal for him to possess a firearm in the future. The judges determined there was enough evidence to support the finding that the defendant and the victim were in a dating relationship, a key element in the charge.

In Carl A. Staples v. State of Indiana, No. 48A05-1106-CR-298, police came to Carl Stapels’ home on the report of battery involving a weapon. Tamica Burnett was loading her belongings into a car when police arrived. Burnett, who lived with Stapels, told police that Stapels grabbed her by her throat causing pain and also pointed a firearm at her.

He later pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanors battery and pointing a firearm. The trial court denied Staples’ request to release his firearms to a third person and found he committed a crime of domestic violence as defined by Indiana Code 35-41-1-6.3. Staples appealed, arguing that he was convicted of battery and not domestic battery, so he couldn’t have committed a crime of domestic violence.

The judge rejected this argument because by statute, a crime of domestic violence is defined as having particular elements committed against people who have a particular relationship with the defendant. Staples also claimed that there was no evidence to show that he and Burnett were members of the same household. The appellate court found circumstantial evidence supported that the two were in a dating relationship.

The judges also noted that the trial court wasn’t required to hold a separate hearing with notice prior to disqualifying Staples from future ownership or possession of firearms because the factual basis of a guilty plea provides the trial court with the evidence from which to make that determination.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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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