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Judges uphold murder conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found the evidence that a defendant committed murder was overwhelming, so any suppression of a witness’s testimony by the prosecution was no more than a harmless error.

In Anthony Dorelle-Moore v. State of Indiana, No. 45A04-1109-CR-482, Anthony Dorelle-Moore claimed the trial court erred in refusing to grant a continuance, mistrial or motion to correct error due to prosecutor misconduct. Dorelle-Moore was charged with the murder of Isaiah Claxton. Claxton came to Dorelle-Moore’s home to buy marijuana. Dorelle-Moore believed that Claxton and two other men robbed his home several hours earlier. While Claxton was at Dorelle-Moore’s home, Dorelle-Moore shot him nine times, killing Claxton.

At trial, it came to light that a gun stolen from the burglary of Dorelle-Moore’s home had been recovered when Willie Lee James was arrested. James allegedly claimed to have gotten the gun from Bernard Hamilton, a man Dorelle-Moore believed also robbed his home. Dorelle-Moore tried to get James to testify, but he claims that the prosecution spoke with James and overtly or implicitly threatened that if he testified for Dorelle-Moore, he would be arrested.

“Here, assuming that the prosecutor’s reference to a warrant for James’s arrest effectively discouraged his testimony, Dorelle-Moore did not identify materially favorable testimony to be obtained from James,” wrote Judge L. Mark Bailey.

Dorelle-Moore shot Clayton with an eyewitness present, and several others saw Dorelle-Moore with a gun just after the shooting. The evidence of his guilt was overwhelming, so the suppression of James’ testimony wasn’t more than a harmless error, the court ruled.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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