Court upholds Sturgis’ conviction for murder of son

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St. Joseph County resident Jerry L. Sturgis Sr. lost his appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday that challenged convictions stemming from the beatings and abuse of three of his children, leading to the death of his 10-year-old son in 2011.

In Terry L. Sturgis, Sr. v. State of Indiana,  71A03-1207-CR-330, Sturgis argued that the trial court abused its discretion in limiting his cross-examination of one of his sons at his trial, that the evidence couldn’t support his murder conviction, and double jeopardy required reversal of some convictions.

Sturgis was charged with numerous counts as a result of the malicious and severe beatings of his children, including murder and battery. Some of the battery charges were related to Sturgis hitting the children with a hot iron, others for striking them with a rod. He beat his 10-year-old son so severely that he died from blunt force trauma to the head.

The Court of Appeals found no limitation by the trial court regarding Sturgis’ cross-examination of his third-oldest child at trial, and that he was, in fact, allowed to cross-examine the boy on whether the oldest child physically abused his siblings and asked the other boy to lie about it.

There is more than enough evidence from which a reasonable trier of fact could have determined that beatings by Sturgis caused his 10-year-old son’s death and that Sturgis knowingly killed the boy, Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote.

Finally, the appeals court found no double jeopardy violations under the Indiana Constitution.



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  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon