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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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