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Judges differ in stipulation matter

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A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed on whether a defendant pleaded guilty to the enhancement of his auto theft conviction based on his previous conviction for a similar crime.

In Emmanuel Stringer v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0806-CR-536, Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented from the majority's affirmation of Emmanuel Stringer's convictions of auto theft and operating never having received a license. Judges Patricia Riley and Carr Darden found Stringer effectively pleaded guilty to an enhancement of auto theft as a Class C felony after he stipulated the prior conviction. The state had introduced a certified copy of prior auto theft and receiving stolen parts convictions of Stringer's. His defense counsel declined to object because there was no basis for objecting to the testimony. Stringer was sentenced to 6-years executed on the auto theft as a Class C felony conviction and 60 days on the operating a vehicle never having received a license conviction.

Stringer appealed, arguing the trial court didn't properly advise him of the rights he was waiving. Citing Vanzandt v. State, 730 N.E.2d 721, 725 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), the majority ruled Stringer effectively pleaded guilty to the enhancement of auto theft to a Class C felony after his defense attorney stipulated to the prior conviction. Since he pleaded guilty, Stringer's challenge of the knowing and voluntary nature of his plea can't be made by direct appeal, but must be done through a petition for post-conviction relief, wrote Judge Riley.

In her dissent, Judge Vaidik wrote she believed Stringer stipulated to the admission of the certified copy of his prior conviction for auto theft and based on that, the trial court found him guilty of the enhancement. She would affirm the trial court, finding Stringer properly brought this direct appeal.

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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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