ILNews

Court rules counsel was ineffective

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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A criminal defense attorney's failure to severe four burglary cases fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and prejudiced his client, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

In Darrel M. Maymon v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0611-PC-1060, the appellate court reversed a ruling by Madison Superior Judge Thomas Newman in denying relief on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel at the post-conviction stage.

That trial defense attorney is not named in today's opinion, but the defendant-appellant contended that his trial counsel was ineffective for not severing the cases on four burglary charges - as should have been done because they were joined at trial solely on the ground they were of the same or similar character. He'd been found guilty by a jury for four crimes between June and September 2001, and the Court of Appeals had previously affirmed the convictions on direct appeal.

"Here, the facts of each charge do not demonstrate that Maymon committed a series of connected acts or that the incidents were part of a single scheme or plan," the court wrote today. "He contends that if a severance had been requested, the evidence of the burglaries where thefts occurred would not have been admissible in his trials for the burglaries where thefts did not occur.... We agree."

The court cited Wickizer v. State, 626 N.E.2d 795 (Ind. 1993), which held that evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts may be admitted to prove the intent of a defendant only when he or she has alleged a particular contrary intent at trial.

The court affirmed his convictions for two counts of burglary where thefts occurred, but reversed the other pair where thefts didn't happen. This case has been remanded with instruction to enter convictions for residential entry on those two and to sentence him accordingly.
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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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