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Court upholds finding man committed crime of domestic violence

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that a defendant committed a crime of domestic violence, which then made it illegal for him to possess a firearm in the future. The judges determined there was enough evidence to support the finding that the defendant and the victim were in a dating relationship, a key element in the charge.

In Carl A. Staples v. State of Indiana, No. 48A05-1106-CR-298, police came to Carl Stapels’ home on the report of battery involving a weapon. Tamica Burnett was loading her belongings into a car when police arrived. Burnett, who lived with Stapels, told police that Stapels grabbed her by her throat causing pain and also pointed a firearm at her.

He later pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanors battery and pointing a firearm. The trial court denied Staples’ request to release his firearms to a third person and found he committed a crime of domestic violence as defined by Indiana Code 35-41-1-6.3. Staples appealed, arguing that he was convicted of battery and not domestic battery, so he couldn’t have committed a crime of domestic violence.

The judge rejected this argument because by statute, a crime of domestic violence is defined as having particular elements committed against people who have a particular relationship with the defendant. Staples also claimed that there was no evidence to show that he and Burnett were members of the same household. The appellate court found circumstantial evidence supported that the two were in a dating relationship.

The judges also noted that the trial court wasn’t required to hold a separate hearing with notice prior to disqualifying Staples from future ownership or possession of firearms because the factual basis of a guilty plea provides the trial court with the evidence from which to make that determination.

 

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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

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