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COA: No fundamental error in admitting testimony

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s two convictions of sexual misconduct with a minor after finding that there was no fundamental error in the admittance of certain testimony at his trial.

In Jeremiah D. Wilkes v. State of Indiana, 32A01-1303-CR-120, Jeremiah Wilkes appealed his conviction of two Class B felonies stemming from an incident in which he performed oral sex on a 14-year-old boy and had the teen touch Wilkes’ penis. Wilkes argued that testimony from several people about what victim W.V. told people should not have been admitted at his trial.

Because he didn’t object during the trial, the Court of Appeals evaluated its admission to see if it amounted to a fundamental error. It did not, the judges held, because W.V. testified first and the hearsay testimony was merely cumulative of what he said.

The judges did find that some statements by Detective Terry Judy amounted to indirect vouching that is not allowed under Hoglund v. State, 962 N.E.2d 1230, 1237 (Ind. 2012). But in light of all the other testimony, Judy’s statements were harmless error, Judge Melissa May wrote.

The appeals court disagreed that these errors, taken together, cumulatively, constituted a fundamental error. Wilkes had argued that W.V. incorrectly said Wilkes was uncircumcised. But a picture drawn by W.V. and his explanation cleared up why he believed Wilkes was uncircumcised, the court held.
 

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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