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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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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