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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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