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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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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