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Justices adopt appellate court findings

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The Indiana Supreme Court issued a pair of short per curiam opinions on Thursday afternoon that adopt what the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on two criminal appeals.

Those opinions came in the cases of Curtis Outlaw v. State, No. 49S02-1006-CR-328; and Steven Marbley-El v. State, No. 71S03-1006-PC-329.

In Outlaw, the justices agreed with the appellate panel in reversing an Indianapolis man’s conviction for a Class A misdemeanor of operating a vehicle while intoxicated “in a manner that endangers a person.” The state had argued that evidence of intoxication should be sufficient to prove “endangerment,” which was the case before the General Assembly revised Indiana Code §9-30-5-2 in 2001. But the appellate court disagreed and rejected that argument and the conviction, which Curtis Outlaw had received a 365-day sentence for.

In Marbley-El, the court granted the transfer petition and summarily affirmed the Court of Appeals on a post-conviction case from St. Joseph Superior. Steven Marbley-El argued that he should have received a jury trial because his sentence was enhanced beyond the four year advisory to six years, based on Blakey v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004) and Smylie v. State, 823 N.E.2d 679 (Ind. 2005). But the justices said those rulings don’t apply here because Marbley-El committed the robbery after lawmakers enacted the present “advisory” sentencing scheme.
 

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