Christina Kovats v. State of Indiana - 1/16/13

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Wednesday  January 16, 2013 
1:30 PM  EST

1:30 p.m. 15A01-1205-CR-224. Union County High School, Liberty. Christina M. Kovats was a home healthcare nurse hired to look after 98-year-old N.C., who had recently suffered from a stroke.  On the evening of October 28, 2011, Kovats was driving N.C. home from a weekly social event N.C. liked to attend when she stopped to fuel her car.  Kovats then drove off from the gas station without paying for gasoline, and subsequently fled from an Indiana State Police Trooper who tried to stop her for her theft of the gasoline.  After reaching speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, Kovats lost control of her car. N.C. was seriously injured in the wreck, had to be cut from the car, suffered severe pain, and died six weeks later. At the time of the incident, Kovats tested positive for oxymorphone, a drug more potent than morphine or heroin.
The State charged Kovats with Class B felony neglect of a dependent, Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Class D felony resisting law enforcement, and Class D felony criminal recklessness.  Following a four-day jury trial, Kovats was found guilty as charged.  The trial court entered judgment of conviction on the jury verdicts, but at the sentencing hearing “merged” the Class D felony convictions into the conviction for Class B felony neglect of a dependent and sentenced Kovats to twenty years of incarceration on the Class B felony only.  


On appeal, Kovats claims that: (1) the trial court abused its discretion by considering as an aggravating factor that N.C. died six weeks after she sustained her injuries, (2) her twenty-year sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender, and (3) the trial court should have vacated the judgments of conviction entered on the merged counts.

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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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