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Justices accept 4 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court took four cases for the week ending Jan. 7, including a case in which a convicted child molester asked for his sentence to be reduced but ended up having it ordered to be increased due to a sentencing error.

In Donald Pierce v. State of Indiana,  No. 13S04-1101-CR-7, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Donald Pierce’s convictions of three counts of Class A felony child molesting and one count of Class C felony child molesting. Pierce appealed his convictions and original 124-year sentence. The judges found a sentencing error and remanded with instructions to attach Pierce’s fixed 10-year term for being a repeat sexual offender to one of his Class A felony sentences for an aggregate sentence of 134 years.

In Nathan D. Brock v. State of Indiana, No. 38S02-1101-CR-8, the Court of Appeals affirmed Nathan Brock’s conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle after forfeiture of license for life. He argued his convictions violated double jeopardy because the trial court granted the state’s request for a mistrial at the close of the first trial in absence of a manifest necessity to do so, and then it allowed the state to retry him, which resulted in his conviction. The mistrial and retrial didn’t violate double jeopardy, the judges ruled.

In Debra L. Walker v. David M. Pullen, No. 64S05-1101-CT-6, the Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of David Pullen’s motion to correct error after a jury verdict. Debra Walker’s car hit Pullen’s vehicle as they were waiting in a drive-thru lane. Pullen, who had pain after the accident, sued Walker for negligence. The jury originally awarded him $10,070, but he filed a motion to correct error because he believed the verdict was contrary to the evidence. The trial court granted the motion and ordered a new trial on damages only.

In D.M. v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1101-JV-11, the Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that D.M. was delinquent for committing what would be Class B felony burglary and Class D felony theft if committed by an adult. He argued the juvenile court erred by admitting his statement to police into evidence because he didn’t have the opportunity for a meaningful conversation with his mother before waiving his rights and that neither the waiver nor his subsequent statement were voluntarily made.
 

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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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