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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. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  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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