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Court upholds man’s molestation convictions

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Finding no juror misconduct or any fundamental error in the admission of certain testimony during a man’s trial for molesting his daughter, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld his multiple molestation convictions. He will also have to file a petition for post-conviction relief to challenge his habitual offender adjudication.

Brandon Robey was found guilty of four counts of Class A felony child molesting and two counts of Class C felony child molesting for molesting his six-year-old daughter, A.P. After trial, he admitted that he was a habitual offender and habitual substance offender, and he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 110 years.

But in Brandon Robey v. State of Indiana, 12A02-1306-CR-502, Robey argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion to correct error on the basis of alleged juror misconduct. Juror John Brannan knew of Robey from his previous employment at the county jail. Brannan did not work there when Robey was incarcerated on the molestation charges.

After he was convicted, two other jurors had a conversation on Facebook that said Brannan told them Robey bragged about raping his daughter and getting away with it. When juror Julie Gillespie testified about the conversation, she said that information came up after the jury had made a unanimous decision to convict Robey.

The Court of Appeals rejected Robey’s request for a retrial, finding the court was entitled to believe Gillespie’s testimony and did. They declined to reweight the evidence.

The judges also found he was not denied a fair trial based on the admission of statements by his daughter’s child services interviewer and her psychologist.  The DCS case managers comments were general in nature, and she did not directly comment on whether A.P.’s accusations against Robey were true in particular or whether A.P. was a truthful person in general, as allowed by Kindred v. State, 973 N.E.2d 1245 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), Judge Cale Bradford wrote.

The judges only found one statement by the child’s counselor that constituted impermissible vouching, however, it was at most merely cumulative of her previous statements, both of which were elicited by Robey.

And even though Robey’s prior conviction for possession of a controlled substance can’t be used to support his habitual offender adjudication, he cannot challenge it on direct appeal based on Tumulty v. State, 666 N.E.2d 394 (Ind. 1996).  

“There is, quite simply, no room in Tumulty’s holding for any exceptions to the rule that you cannot challenge a habitual offender adjudication on direct appeal after pleading guilty. If Robey wishes to further challenge the factual basis underlying his admission to being a habitual offender, he will have to do so in a PCR petition,” Bradford wrote.

 

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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

  5. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

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