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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. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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