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2 Supreme Court arguments Thursday

July 7, 2008

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear two arguments Thursday, including a death penalty appeal by a man whose appeal has already once been denied by the justices.

At 9 a.m., the high court will hear arguments in Tommy R. Pruitt v. State of Indiana, No. 15S00-0512-PD-617, in which Tommy Pruitt was convicted of murder and other charges in Dearborn Circuit Court for killing Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Starnes. The Dearborn Circuit Court denied his petition for post-conviction relief. Pruitt appealed the denial, arguing he is mentally retarded and had ineffective assistance of his counsel, so he should not be sentenced to death.

Pruitt previously appealed his sentence, in which the majority of Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and sentence in September 2005. Justice Robert Rucker dissented, believing Pruitt met his burden to prove he is mentally retarded and recommended his sentence be revised to a term of years.

In State of Indiana v. Adam L. Manuwal, No. 50S05-0805-CR-269, charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated under Indiana Code Sections 9-30-5-1 and 2 - operating a vehicle while intoxicated - were dismissed against Adam Manuwal by the Marshall Superior Court. Manuwal was arrested and charged after driving an all-terrain vehicle on private property. The Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal after concluding he was improperly charged under the operating while intoxicated statutes and the state could have filed charges pursuant to I.C. Section 14-16-1-23 - operation of an off-road vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.

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