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Appellate court affirms murder conviction; reverses on corpse abuse conviction

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The erroneous admission at trial of a statement a man made to police unquestionably influenced the jury verdicts regarding his convictions of burglary and abuse of a corpse, causing the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse those convictions. But the COA affirmed his conviction of and sentence for murder.

In Nathan Anderson v. State of Indiana, No. 49A05-1105-CR-243, Nathan Anderson crawled through an open window and stabbed Jane Pepper numerous times, killing her. He also had sexual intercourse either before or after the murder, and he told police during an interview that his intent in entering the apartment was to rob Pepper.

A jury found Anderson guilty of murder, Class B felony burglary and Class D felony abuse of a corpse. On appeal, Anderson claimed that a buccal swab that produced DNA evidence linking him to the crime – obtained by police after he was convicted of another felony – was a violation of Indiana statute and his federal and state constitutional rights.

The COA held that the DNA evidence was obtained by “mistake,” which constitutes a valid exception to the applicable statute and federal and state exclusionary rules. But the appellate court agreed that Anderson was denied his right to counsel during questioning, and that the questioning ultimately resulted in Anderson making statements about his motive for burglary and his abuse of Pepper’s corpse. The COA therefore reversed those convictions and sentences and held that he could be retried on those charges.

The court held sufficient findings of fact support the murder conviction and his sentence of 65 years is appropriate in light of the nature of the murder.  


 

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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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