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COA reverses conviction based on charging information

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Because the charging information did not give a defendant fair notice of the crime of which he was convicted, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his Class B felony attempted aggravated battery conviction.  

Billy Young, Latoya Lee, Marquise Lee and an unidentified man went to the apartment of Ramon Gude two days after Latoya Lee got in a fight with Gude’s girlfriend, Tiara Robertson. Marquise and Ramon began fighting. The unidentified man shot Ramon much to the surprise of Young and Marquise Lee. Ramon died of his injuries and the three known assailants were charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

After a two-day bench trial, the judge determined the proof was insufficient to support the charges, but that the state had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Latoya Lee was going to arrange for a “beat down” of Ramon. The judge convicted each co-defendant of Class B felony attempted aggravated battery.

At first blush, it could seem that attempted aggravated battery could be an inherently lesser included offense of murder, but under the circumstances of this case, that conviction is not appropriate, the appeals court held in Billy Young v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1310-CR-868.

“It stands to reason that the facts alleged in the charging information must be the same facts that form the basis for a lesser included offense,” Judge Margret Robb emphasized. “The trial court found the alleged facts underlying Young’s murder charge were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and his conviction for attempted aggravated battery was based on other evidence presented at trial. Thus, Young’s attempted aggravated battery conviction is not a lesser included offense of the murder charge.”

“Young was denied the ability to limit his defense when he was convicted of a crime despite the trier of fact’s belief that a connection between Young and the charged murder was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Because Young was convicted of a crime entirely different from the one with which he was charged, his conviction cannot stand,” she wrote.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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