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Justices take 3 cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer of three cases last week, including a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals lengthened a man’s sentence.

In Jeffrey E. Akard v. State of Indiana, No. 79S02-1009-CR-478, the Court of Appeals increased Jeffrey Akard’s sentence for rape and other convictions by 25 years. Akard claimed his sentence for multiple counts of rape, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement, and battery was inappropriate and should be revised to run concurrently so he would have a 40-year sentence.

But the judges decided to lengthen his 93-year sentence to 118 years because his is a “most unusual case,” citing Indiana Supreme Court Justice Theodore Boehm's concurring opinion in McCullough v. State, 900 N.E.2d 745, 750 (Ind. 2009). The judges found the trial court sentenced Akard below the statutory minimum on several counts. The appellate court upheld Akard’s increased sentence in a rehearing in June.

In Howard Regional Health System, et al. v. Jacob Gordon, et al., No. 34S02-1009-CV-476, the Court of Appeals held if a hospital or medical provider loses records so that a patient can’t pursue a medical malpractice claim, state law lets that patient pursue a separate civil action for spoliation of evidence. The judges found a private cause of action is established under Indiana Code Section 16-39-7-1 regarding the consequences of violating the state’s medical record retention statute.

Jacob Gordon’s mother, Lisa, filed a medical malpractice suit and asked for evidence from the hospital where Jacob was born. Howard Community Hospital took 18 months to tell her that the information couldn’t be found. The appellate court affirmed partial summary judgment against the hospital for spoliation of evidence.

In Kevin Taylor v. State of Indiana, No. 20S04-1009-PC-477, the Court of Appeals split on the impact of a jury instruction on robbery in Kevin Taylor’s trial. Taylor was convicted of felony murder during a robbery; he filed for post-conviction relief claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney didn’t object to the final instructions, which did not instruct on the elements of robbery.

The judges held Taylor met his burden of showing the post-conviction court erred by ruling his counsel hadn’t performed deficiently, but only Judge Cale Bradford believed Taylor wasn’t prejudiced by his attorney’s performance. The majority remanded for a new trial.
 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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