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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 practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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