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COA upholds denial of convicted murderer’s motion to dismiss

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The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that murder charges should have been dismissed based on a plea agreement he made with the state, finding no error by the trial court in allowing the jury to decide whether the defendant’s testimony was credible. The plea agreement preventing prosecution for murder would be in effect only if the defendant met certain criteria.

Chaunsey Fox was charged with murder, attempted robbery and felony murder in the shooting death of Eddie Williams in South Bend in 2009. Fox, who was incarcerated in 2011, got on police radar as a potential suspect when he contacted a detective claiming to have information on the homicide. Fox wanted favorable treatment for his pending charge in return.

He claimed to be at the scene of the crime but did not shoot Williams. The state agreed to not charge Fox with murder if he was truthful, testified against other individuals if called upon, he was not the shooter, and he didn’t carry a gun during the crime. But Fox later told inmates he was the shooter, and Derek Fields testified that he and Fox tried to rob Williams, Fox carried a handgun that night, and was the shooter. A jury convicted Fox of felony murder and attempted robbery.

Fox wanted the murder charges dismissed based on the agreement he entered into with the state. In Chaunsey L. Fox v. State of Indiana, 71A04-1304-CR-187, the Court of Appeals concluded the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion by denying the motion to dismiss and allowing the jury to decide the issue of credibility. The judges also rejected Fox’s claim that he relied on the state’s promise not to prosecute him for murder by pointing out Fox admitted to being at the crime scene before entering into the deal. Nor was the court convinced that the jury accepted Fox’s version of the events just because it acquitted him of murder as Fox argued.

The COA also concluded there were no Brady violations or judicial bias as Fox claimed.

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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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