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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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  1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

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  5. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

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