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Court didn't err in allowing impeachment testimony

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found the trial court did not err in allowing a police detective to testify as to what a witness told him about a shooting.

In Tyjuan J. Dixon v. State of Indiana, No. 45A03-1110-CR-482, Tyjuan Dixon appealed his convictions of murder and two counts of Class A felony attempted murder. Dixon showed up at the apartment complex of his half-brother, Edward Bond, to attempt to calm his half-brother down because of an argument. Dixon, in turn, shot three people, killing one and seriously injuring the other two.

At trial, the state called Bond’s girlfriend, Catrenna Walker, as a witness. She testified she couldn’t remember or recall whether Dixon got out of his car when he came to the complex or what she told police. The trial court, over Dixon’s objection, allowed the police detective who took Walker’s statement to provide extrinsic impeachment of her testimony.

“Walker neither admitted nor denied making the prior statement regarding Dixon’s attire and conduct, but testified that she did not recall making the statement, could not recall at trial whether she saw Dixon get out of the car, and reading the written transcript of her statement did not refresh her memory,” wrote Judge L. Mark Bailey.

 As in Dunlap v. State, 761 N.E.2d 837 (Ind. 2002), this does not take the decision on whether to admit the detective’s testimony and the written version of Walker’s statement outside “the ambit of the trial court’s discretion to determine inconsistency,” wrote the judge.

Even if the trial court had abused its discretion, the error was harmless because there were eyewitnesses who saw Dixon get out of his car and identified him as the shooter.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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