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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. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

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