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Justices vacate transfer grant, reinstate COA ruling

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The Indiana Supreme Court has decided to not consider a case that justices had granted transfer on late last year, reinstating a lower appellate court’s ruling that a trial judge had abused her discretion in admitting a blood test in a drunken driving case.

In an order issued Wednesday and signed by Acting Chief Justice Brent Dickson, the Supreme Court vacated its Dec. 17, 2009, order that had granted transfer in the case of Roger L. Brown v. State of Indiana, No. 12A02-0901-CR-1, arising out of Clinton Superior Judge Kathy Smith’s courtroom.

The order reinstates an Indiana Court of Appeals decision from Aug. 21, 2009, in which an appellate panel affirmed Brown’s two convictions of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in bodily injury. The court found that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the results of Brown's blood test pursuant to Indiana Code Section 9-30-6-6(j), but that there was no substantial likelihood that the erroneously admitted evidence contributed to his convictions. There was enough evidence to show Brown was intoxicated and his driving caused the victims’ injuries, the appellate court found.
 

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