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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

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The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.

When police pulled over James Littrell’s minivan, they discovered Littrell’s passenger, Jackie Rumler, had a bag of cocaine in her shorts. Littrell denied that he purchased the drug but admitted to using it earlier in the day. A drug test found cocaine in his system.

He was charged with possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school as a Class B felony and other charges. He pleaded guilty to those charges, with the exception of the possession charge and being a habitual offender. He requested a speedy trial on those charges. The state sought an extension within the 90-day period because it was waiting on a blood test. The trial date was set for 112 days after the extension was granted and 152 days after Littrell’s original request.

He argued in James S. Littrell v. State of Indiana, 79A02-1401-CR-24, that the extension was calculated from the wrong starting date, but the appellate court said his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated because the trial was set within the 90-day extension. The extension begins at the expiration of the original 70-day time period, the judges held, based on the Criminal Rule 4(D)’s use of the phrase “additional ninety (90) days.”

The judges also found his actions and statements lead to a reasonable inference he jointly possessed the cocaine. He admitted he had “shared the baggy” with Rumler, had handled it, and told her to put the baggy in her clothing.

“Littrell clearly had knowledge of the drugs’ location because he told the officers about the cocaine. Based on this evidence, a reasonable fact-finder could conclude that Littrell was in constructive possession of the cocaine,” Judge John Baker wrote.

The judges also found his aggregate 25-year sentence to be appropriate given his criminal history, threats made to the arresting officers, past drug use and failure to complete drug treatment programs.  

The COA remanded for correction of his guilty plea and sentencing orders because they show that Littrell pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while having a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance in the body as a felony, when in fact the offense is a misdemeanor.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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