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COA upholds denial of fugitive's request to file an appeal

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A woman convicted of murdering her husband in the 1970s who escaped from prison and remained a fugitive for 35 years isn’t entitled to file a petition for belated appeal because her willful act of fleeing prevented her attorney from pursuing the appeal.

Linda G. Darby was convicted of killing her husband in 1970 and sentenced to life imprisonment. She filed a motion to correct error Nov. 28, 1970, which was denied. She was appointed counsel but no appeal was ever filed. She escaped from prison in 1972 and was apprehended in Tennessee in 2007. In 2011, she filed a petition to file a belated notice of appeal, which the trial court denied without a hearing.

Darby claimed that even though she fled the state, that didn’t relinquish her right to appeal. The Court of Appeals disagreed, citing Evolga v. State, 519 N.E.2d 532, 533 (Ind. 1988), and Prater v. State, 459 N.E.2d 39, 41 (Ind. 1984). It’s well settled in Indiana that when someone escapes from lawful custody, he isn’t entitled during the period he remains a fugitive to prosecute his appeal, noted Judge Carr Darden.

“In short, Darby’s counsel was prevented from pursuing Darby’s appeal by her willful act of fleeing the jurisdiction,” he wrote in Linda G. Darby v. State of Indiana, No. 45A04-1106-CR-318.

 

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  2. Oh, and you fail to mention that you deprived the father of far FAR more time than he ever did you, even requiring officers to escort the children back into his care. Please, can you see that you had a huge part in "starting the war?" Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

  3. Patricia, i can't understand how painfully heartbreak ithis ordeal must have been for you. I read the appellate case and was surprised to see both sides of the story because your actions were harmful to your child; more so than the fathers. The evidence wasn't re weighed. It was properly reviewed for abuse of discretion as the trial court didn't consider whether a change of circumstance occurred or follow and define the statutes that led to their decision. Allowing a child to call a boyfriend "daddy" and the father by his first name is unacceptable. The first time custody was reversed to father was for very good reason. Self reflection in how you ultimately lost primary custody is the only way you will be able heal and move forward. Forgiveness of yourself comes after recognition and I truly hope you can get past the hurt and pain to allow your child the stability and care you recognized yourself that the father provides.

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