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Contempt conviction for failure to testify affirmed

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A woman who refused to answer questions about another criminal defendant after she was granted immunity was not wrongly convicted of contempt of court, an appellate panel ruled Friday.

Christie Wilson was found in contempt of court and sentenced to 180 days in prison after she refused to answer questions about Nathan Schultz, who had been charged with two counts of burglary and 18 counts of theft. Related to those charges, Wilson pleaded guilty to Class D felony theft and receiving stolen property, and several other counts were dropped.

The Washington Superior Court issued Wilson a grant of immunity in exchange for her testimony regarding Schultz’s criminal case. At a deposition, she asserted her Fifth Amendment rights regarding questions about Schultz’s alleged crimes.

The Court of Appeals rejected Wilson’s claim that “it appears to be a matter of first impression whether Indiana’s Constitution Section 14 provides greater protection than the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment in matters relating to compelled testimony through orders of use immunity.”

In Christie Wilson v. State of Indiana, 88A01-1301-CR-2, Wilson argued that the Indiana Constitution entitled her to transactional immunity barring the state from prosecuting her for any transaction concerning that to which she testified.

The justices affirmed in part based on In re Caito 459 N.E.2d 1179, 1182 (Ind. 1984), which was decided about twenty years ago.

 “We cannot say that the Indiana Constitution requires transactional immunity or that the trial court’s finding of contempt was an abuse of discretion,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the court. “We affirm the trial court’s finding of contempt.”






 

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  1. I need an experienced attorney to handle a breach of contract matter. Kindly respond for more details. Graham Young

  2. I thought the slurs were the least grave aspects of her misconduct, since they had nothing to do with her being on the bench. Why then do I suspect they were the focus? I find this a troubling trend. At least she was allowed to keep her law license.

  3. Section 6 of Article I of the Indiana Constitution is pretty clear and unequivocal: "Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury for the benefit of any religious or theological institution."

  4. Video pen? Nice work, "JW"! Let this be a lesson and a caution to all disgruntled ex-spouses (or soon-to-be ex-spouses) . . . you may think that altercation is going to get you some satisfaction . . . it will not.

  5. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

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