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Justices take felony murder, child support cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to two cases - a convicted murder’s appeal and a case involving child support nonpayment.

The justices accepted Joey Addison v. State of Indiana, No. 49S05-1105-CR-267, in which Joey Addison, an African-American, claimed the trial court erred in denying his Batson challenges and erred in excluding evidence. Addison was found guilty but mentally ill of murder and sentenced to 45 years. The trial court had accepted the state’s race-neutral rationale for striking four African-Americans who were potential jurors. The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded the state’s proffered explanations were facially valid and there was no racially discriminatory intent inherent.

He also claimed the trial court should have admitted his sister’s prior deposition into evidence despite her refusal to travel from Georgia to testify at his trial. The Court of Appeals found the sister’s testimony created an issue of fact that the jury could have taken into account in arriving at its verdict, but it was a harmless error under the circumstances of the case.

In Amir H. Sanjari v. State of Indiana, No. 20S03-1105-CR-268, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the double jeopardy prohibition had been violated by filing two charges of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child against Amir Sanjari related to his refusal to pay any support for his two children. The judges noted that the law says a person can be charged with a Class C felony if the total amount of unpaid child support is at least $15,000 and is owed for one or more children. Sanjari, who owed more than $17,000, argued that only one child support order had been issued and it included both children, so he shouldn’t have been charged or convicted twice.

The Court of Appeals vacated one of his convictions and affirmed the five-year sentence on the remaining charge. The appellate court also concluded Sanjari received enough notice and there wasn’t evidence that he couldn’t have attended a hearing.

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  1. Is it possible to amend an order for child support due to false paternity?

  2. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  3. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  4. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  5. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

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