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Justices take 4 cases on transfer

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases last week, including a case that divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a drunken driving retrial was double jeopardy.

In Jeffrey A. Cleary v. State of Indiana, 45S03-1404-CR-295, a split Court of Appeals panel upheld Jeffrey Cleary’s Class B felony conviction for driving while intoxicated and his 14-year sentence handed down after a second trial. In the first trial, Cleary was convicted of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charges but the jury deadlocked on the felony OWI causing death count. Cleary moved for a directed verdict, the trial judge ordered a new trial.

On appeal, Cleary argued that the retrial violated his double-jeopardy protections, that a blood draw used to establish his blood-alcohol content was improper and shouldn’t have been admitted, and that his sentence was inappropriate.

The majority held that had judgment been entered on the lesser convictions after Cleary’s first trial, he would be barred from being retried. But judgment wasn’t entered. Judge Terry Crone dissented, writing the court should have entered judgment after the first trial.

In Ruben Rosales v. State of Indiana, 48S02-1404-CR-297, the Court of Appeals was divided on whether jury instruction was a harmless error or gave the jurors another base for finding Ruben Rosales guilty of attempted murder. At trial, the jury was instructed on the requirements for attempted murder as well as accomplice liability.

Crone dissented in this case, arguing the jury instruction was a fundamental error because only the final instructions to the jury mention accomplice liability, giving the jurors two distinct avenues for finding Rosales guilty.

In Old National Bancorp d/b/a Old National Trust Company, as Trustee of the Percy E. Goodrich Trust and the Hanover College Trust v. Hanover College, 68S05-1404-TR-296, the Court of Appeals dismissed Old National Bancorp’s appeal of the termination for two trusts for which it served as representative. The judges held the bank’s representative capacity was terminated once the trusts were terminated.

The justices also took Edward Lee Matthys v. State of Indiana (NFP), in which the appeals court affirmed the termination from a county re-entry court program and Matthys’ placement in the Department of Correction.

The justices declined transfer for 18 cases, including Rick Deeter v. Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Co., in which Rick Deeter sought to recover insurance proceeds after his wife intentionally burned down their home.

 

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