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Court affirms convictions of man who shot at teenagers

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A Porter County man who shot at four teenagers near his property at night because he claimed they were trying to break into his home is not entitled to a new trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Donald Gregory Huls appealed his convictions of Class D and Class C felony criminal recklessness. Huls was outside his home around midnight when he began shooting in the direction of four teens walking near his property along a highway on the way to a convenience store. A bullet hit one of the teens in the leg. Even after the teens yelled that they were leaving, he fired again. Huls then called 911 and told the dispatcher he shot at people trying to break into his home.

He claimed on appeal he was entitled to a mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct because during a witness testimony, the state objected to Huls attempting to show the witness a copy of Huls’ statement by saying “the defendant is here to testify.” Huls argued that the prosecutor improperly commented upon his failure to testify in violation of his privileges against self-incrimination.

The Court of Appeals found that the statement was isolated in nature and it didn’t appear that the prosecutor was trying to prejudice the jury to deprive Huls of a fair trial. The judges also affirmed the rejection of Hul’s proposed jury instructions on self defense and the defense of mistake of fact, finding the instructions either incorrectly stated the law on self-defense or weren’t supported by the evidence.

The judges also disagreed with Huls that the evidence at trial showed he shot at the teens because he believed it was necessary to protect himself and his property. The teens never entered his property, he opened fire without identifying his target, and he continued to shoot even after one of the teens shouted at Huls to stop firing and that they were leaving. Police found 14 shell casings on Huls’ property from that night.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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