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COA affirms $1,380 restitution order for missing CDs, coins

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The Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday that a trial court did not err in letting the state present evidence of a victim’s loss for the first time at a restitution hearing. It affirmed an order that Kenneth Smith pay $1,380 to William Kirkham for missing CDs and coins.

Smith was convicted of Class D felony theft for stealing a radio, guitar, DVDs and a silver coin from Kirkham’s house while he was away. At the restitution hearing, Kirkham said he was also missing nearly 400 CDs and about $100 in cash in the form of silver dollars and half dollars. Smith objected, but the court allowed the testimony. It then determined the loss was $1,380.

The trial court asked if Smith could afford to pay $230 a month toward restitution, and Smith said he was paying $240 a month for home detention. The judge ordered Smith to pay the restitution first and then the court would address the home detention payments.

The COA found the trial court based its restitution order wholly on the acts underlying Smith’s convictions and that Kirkham’s testimony demonstrated his degree of loss attributable to Smith’s crime. Also, restricting evidence of the victim’s actual loss to that which the prosecutor uses to obtain a conviction might limit the amount the victim can recover under Indiana law, Judge Edward Najam pointed out in Kenneth Smith v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1212-CR-1017.

The judges also found the trial court looked into Smith’s ability to pay. Smith did not dispute that he could pay $240 a month for home detention so he could afford $230 for restitution every month.

 

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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