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Judges reinstate battery charges against drunken casino patron

January 4, 2013

The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Switzerland Circuit Court had no grounds to dismiss the information against a man charged with misdemeanor battery after jabbing the shoulder of a pit boss at Belterra Casino.

Daniel Riley went to the casino in December 2011 to play blackjack at a specific seat. When he saw that seat was reserved, he got angry with pit boss Peggy Warfield after she refused to let him play, jabbing her in the shoulder. Security called Indiana Gaming Agent Audrey Smoot to take a complaint that Riley wanted to file. He then decided not to file charges, but Warfield wanted to press charges, so Smoot watched surveillance video of the incident.

She decided battery charges should be filed and Riley should be ejected. Because Riley was too intoxicated to leave and had a hotel room, she let him stay to sober up. When the state charged Riley with battery, Smoot was the affiant for the information, which was signed by the prosecutor. Riley sought to dismiss the charges, which Switzerland Circuit Judge W. Gregory Coy granted without prejudice.

“While there may be several possible grounds for dismissal of an information, we can find no support for the proposition that Smoot acting as affiant would be one of them. Nor has any other basis been alleged,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote. “While it may be more common to have a law enforcement officer or prosecutor affirm the information, it is not required by the plain language of the statute, nor by any case law that we can find or that the parties cite.”

As such, the trial court abused its discretion in granting the dismissal in State of Indiana v. Daniel E. Riley, 78A05-1206-CR-311.


 

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