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Judges uphold juvenile's adjudication

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the acceptance of a minor’s plea agreement that was not signed by either of his parents because the signature of the minor and his attorney on the plea agreement satisfied statutory requirements.

In D.E. v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1103-JV-319, D.E. attempted to rob a person – who turned out to be a police detective – with a rifle.  D.E. was caught and faced several charges, but decided to accept the plea agreement from the state in which he would admit to committing what would be criminal recklessness and dangerous possession of a firearm in exchange for the other charges being dropped. After a two-day continuance to allow D.E. and his parents time to consider the plea agreement, D.E. and his attorney signed it, but D.E.’s parents did not. D.E. was sentenced to placement in the Department of Correction until he turned 21 or until he completed all required programs.

D.E. argued that his parents’ rights were thwarted by Indiana Code 31-32-5-1, which allowed D.E.’s attorney to waive the teen’s right to a fact-finding adjudication. But the appellate court disagreed, finding his parents had ample time to consider the agreement and attended the hearings. Both parents also said they understood the implications of the waivers in the plea agreement.

“D.E. has not demonstrated the waivers in his plea agreement did not comport with Ind. Code § 31-32-5-1. It is undisputed that D.E. and his counsel signed the plea agreement, which is sufficient to satisfy the statute. D.E. has not alleged he involuntarily or unknowingly entered into the agreement. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s acceptance of D.E.’s plea agreement,” wrote Judge Melissa May.

The judges also upheld the disposition placing D.E. in a juvenile correctional facility in the DOC instead of a less restrictive placement. The trial court found previous attempts to rehabilitate D.E. were unsuccessful and D.E. was on probation at the time he attempted to rob the detective. He also violated his probation by testing positive for marijuana and had been suspended or expelled from multiple schools.
 

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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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