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Justices divided over vacating transfer in case seeking severance of offenses

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Justice Robert Rucker wrote an 11-page dissent from his colleagues after three justices decided to vacate transfer to an appeal stemming from charges involving the alleged sexual assault of four victims.

Quanardel Wells was charged in 2009 in an 11-count information with various offenses arising out of the alleged assault of four victims on four different occasions. He sought interlocutory review of the trial court’s order denying his motion for severance of offenses pursuant to Indiana Code 35-41-1-11. In September 2011, the Court of Appeals upheld the denial of Wells’ motion to sever over his arguments that he is entitled to the severance of the charges in order to promote a fair determination of the merits of his case.

The justices granted transfer on Feb. 2, 2012, but Justices Steven David, Mark Massa and Loretta Rush decided to vacate transfer Feb. 21 after further review.

In his dissent, joined by Chief Justice Brent Dickson, Rucker believed this case provided the justices “the opportunity to provide guidance and clarity on an area of the law in need of both.”

He discussed the interplay between statutory severance and the Indiana Rules of Evidence. Rucker would grant transfer and remand to the trial court for a hearing to determine whether the offenses with respect to each alleged victim are of the same or similar character; whether evidence of each of the offenses is relevant to some material issue at trial of all the other offenses under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b); and whether the evidence of the other offenses even though relevant should be excluded under Indiana Evidence Rule 403.

If the hearing reveals that evidence of the offenses for which Wells is charged would be inadmissible in separate trials of the same offenses, then he would be entitled to severance as a matter of right under Indiana Code 35-34-1-1. Otherwise Wells would not be so entitled, he wrote.
 

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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