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Burglary conviction was impermissible double jeopardy

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Because some of the facts establishing the elements of a Class A felony burglary conviction also established all of the essential elements of the Class B felony burglary conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one conviction be vacated due to double jeopardy.

In Shamir Chappell v. State of Indiana, No. 89A01-1106-CR-265, Shamir Chappell helped Carlotta Wilkerson break into the home where Maurice and Heather Jones lived. Maurice Jones was in a relationship with Wilkerson despite being married. The Joneses were staying at the home in order to remove the remainder of Maurice Jones’ sister’s belongings before her eviction date. During the break-in, Wilkerson stabbed Heather Jones twice, and Chappell tried to punch Maurice Jones.

Chappell was convicted of aiding, inducing or causing: Class A felony burglary resulting in bodily injury, Class B felony burglary of a dwelling, and Class C felony battery. He was also convicted of Class D felony residential entry. He admitted to being a habitual offender and was sentenced to an aggregate term of 70 years.

The Court of Appeals found the state presented sufficient evidence to support his convictions of burglary, but that the Class B felony conviction should be vacated due to double jeopardy. He was convicted of both the Class A and Class B felonies for one act of breaking and entering into the home. In addition, the only actual evidence differentiating the two convictions was the element of bodily injury to Heather Jones, wrote Judge Paul Mathias.

The COA remanded with instructions to vacate the sentence for the Class B felony conviction, which the trial court had ordered be served concurrently with the Class A felony conviction. They also found that the aggregate sentence of 70 years is not inappropriate.

 

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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