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COA finds double jeopardy in DeLaney attacker's case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that two convictions of a former attorney who attacked a lawyer-legislator violated Indiana’s double jeopardy clause and that one of the charges should be reduced in order to remedy the violation.

In Augustus Mendenhall v. State of Indiana, No. 29A02-1104-CR-353, Augustus Mendenhall, the man who beat and held at gunpoint Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, in October 2009 because of a long-standing dispute in which Mendenhall blamed DeLaney for his family's legal issues, appealed his convictions.

Mendenhall, an attorney who was admitted to practice in 2008 but has since been permanently disbarred as a result of his attack on DeLaney, was convicted of Class A felony attempted murder, Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Class B felony aggravated battery, Class B felony criminal confinement and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.  A jury found Mendenhall guilty but mentally ill on all counts, and Hamilton Superior Judge William Hughes sentenced him to an aggregate term of 40 years.

On appeal, Mendenhall raised five issues that included the trial court’s denying his motion for mistrial, his objection to allowing the state to present a rebuttal witness, and whether the state should have been allowed to present rebuttal to Mendenhall’s case following court-appointed medical witness testimony. The court affirmed on those issues, as well as on claims questioning the evidence sufficiency.

But in examining double jeopardy questions, the appellate court found that the Class B felony conviction for aggravated battery and Class A felony conviction for robbery resulting in serious bodily injury violate Indiana’s probation against double jeopardy. The court remanded with instructions to reduce the robbery conviction to a Class C felony.

 

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    ...for making the correction.
  • Error in story
    This statement in your story is inaccurate: "because of a long-standing legal dispute that had involved DeLaney’s representation of Mendenhall’s father..." Mr. DeLaney represented a client ADVERSE to Mendenhall's father.

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    2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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