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Judges reinstate battery charges against drunken casino patron

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found a Switzerland Circuit Court had no grounds to dismiss the information against a man charged with misdemeanor battery after jabbing the shoulder of a pit boss at Belterra Casino.

Daniel Riley went to the casino in December 2011 to play blackjack at a specific seat. When he saw that seat was reserved, he got angry with pit boss Peggy Warfield after she refused to let him play, jabbing her in the shoulder. Security called Indiana Gaming Agent Audrey Smoot to take a complaint that Riley wanted to file. He then decided not to file charges, but Warfield wanted to press charges, so Smoot watched surveillance video of the incident.

She decided battery charges should be filed and Riley should be ejected. Because Riley was too intoxicated to leave and had a hotel room, she let him stay to sober up. When the state charged Riley with battery, Smoot was the affiant for the information, which was signed by the prosecutor. Riley sought to dismiss the charges, which Switzerland Circuit Judge W. Gregory Coy granted without prejudice.

“While there may be several possible grounds for dismissal of an information, we can find no support for the proposition that Smoot acting as affiant would be one of them. Nor has any other basis been alleged,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote. “While it may be more common to have a law enforcement officer or prosecutor affirm the information, it is not required by the plain language of the statute, nor by any case law that we can find or that the parties cite.”

As such, the trial court abused its discretion in granting the dismissal in State of Indiana v. Daniel E. Riley, 78A05-1206-CR-311.


 

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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