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Justices to review denial of shooter's insanity defense

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The Indiana Supreme Court will hear the appeal of a man whose 120-year sentence on conviction of four counts of attempted murder was reversed by the Court of Appeals.

Donald Myers was convicted of firing on multiple motorists and police officers along U.S. 20 in Steuben County. Police shot Myers after he continued to brandish a shotgun, and he fled into woods where he was flushed out after an hours-long standoff in April 2004.

But the Indiana Court of Appeals in a memorandum decision held that the trial court abused its discretion by denying Myers’ insanity defense, holding that “in the absence of any admissible evidence of probative value that even inferred sanity at the time of the crimes, the jury clearly erred in rejecting Myers’s insanity defense.”

The trial court also abused its authority in admitting evidence of Myers’ refusal to speak with police and his request for counsel to support a showing of sanity, the COA held. Multiple evaluations found Myers incompetent, and he was committed to the Logansport State Hospital.

He was transferred to Richmond State Hospital in 2012, where he was found to have regained competency, at which he was found guilty but mentally ill. The case is Donald William Myers, III v. State of Indiana,  76S03-1407-CR-493.

Justices also agreed to hear an insurance dispute following a fire that destroyed the office of a dentistry practice. The office was left with damages of more than $500,000 over what policy limits provided.

A trial judge granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer, finding the insurer had explained the policy’s limits. A panel of the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the insurer had a special duty to advise the office about coverage and ensure the office was fully covered based on the longstanding business relationship between the practice and the insurance company.

The case is Indiana Restorative Dentistry, P.C. v. The Laven Insurance Agency, Inc., and Proassurance Indemnity Company, Inc. f/k/a The Medical Assurance Company, Inc., 49S05-1407-PL-491.

The Indiana Supreme Court also granted transfer and dismissed the appeal of a custody dispute in which the Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court order automatically awarding custody of a child to the father violated the custody modification statute.

That case is In re the paternity of C.J.A.: G.C. (mother) v. T.A. (father), 79S02-1407-JP-484.

Those cases are among five to which justices granted transfer for the week ending July 25. Transfer also was granted in two cases in which the court already has ruled. Those cases are:


Justices denied transfer in 25 cases. Supreme Court transfer disposition lists may be seen here.
 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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