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Judges affirm teen’s sentence for robbery, conspiracy

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An Elkhart teenager convicted in adult court for her role in several armed robberies of gas stations lost her appeal before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Then 17-year-old Karla Estrada conspired with several friends to rob gas stations around Elkhart in order to get money for Estrada to send to her cousins in Texas. Estrada drove the three friends to and from the gas stations while the friends committed the robberies at five different locations.

Estrada was adjudicated in juvenile court for three counts of Class C felony robbery if committed by an adult, which pertained to the robberies that did not involve weapons. Two months later, the state charged her as an adult with two counts of Class B felony armed robbery as an accomplice based on the first two robberies and one count of Class C felony conspiracy. She was convicted and sentenced to a total of 24 years.

She appealed on four grounds: that the trial court abused its discretion by denying her motion to dismiss and by admitting her statement to police into evidence, that her conspiracy conviction violates Indiana’s double jeopardy prohibition and that her sentence is inappropriate.

The appellate judges found that her charges in adult court weren’t barred by the successive prosecution statute and that those adult charges could not have been brought in juvenile court under Indiana Code 31-30-1-4.

Estrada’s statement to the police detective was admissible because the appellate court found Estrada’s mother knowingly and voluntarily waived Estrada’s rights and both the mother and daughter signed the form saying they understood it.

The conspiracy conviction does not violate double jeopardy prohibition and her sentence is appropriate, the judges held in Karla P. Estrada v. State of Indiana, 20A03-1110-CR-474.

 

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  1. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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