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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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