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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. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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