Criminal Case

7th Circuit upholds convictions in attempted post office robbery

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A videotaped interview brought to light mid-trial and the suppressed personnel record of a detective did not constitute violations under Brady v. Maryland, warranting a new trial for a man convicted of aiding and abetting firearm use during the attempted robbery of a Fort Wayne post office in 2012.
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Justices find victim’s statements regarding altercation fall under hearsay exception

January 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The admission of testimony regarding a murder victim’s recount of his previous altercation with the man convicted in his murder were properly allowed as hearsay statements under Indiana Evidence Rule 804(b)(3), the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Expunged criminal records still may show up and might be required in some cases

January 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
If you’ve stayed out of trouble for the required number of years, Indiana’s expungement statute will erase your criminal record and give you a clean slate. (Individual results may vary.)
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Muncie man gets 4 years for leaving 2 kids in crashed car

January 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A Muncie man has been sentenced to four years in prison for leaving two children in a partially submerged car after he drove the stolen vehicle into a creek.
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Trial postponed in IU student's slaying

December 17, 2015
 Associated Press
The murder trial for a man accused of killing a 22-year-old Indiana University student has been postponed until June.
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Ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle appealing child porn sentence

December 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is appealing the more than 15-year prison sentence he received for possessing child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes, which was longer than the maximum term prosecutors agreed to pursue as part of his plea deal.
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High court rejects LA appeal over $5.7M jury award to felon

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the award to Robert Contreras, who was left paralyzed after police shot him multiple times when he fled the scene of a drive-by shooting in 2005.
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COA upholds vehicle search despite noncompliance with protocol

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though two Indianapolis police officers did not follow the department’s general order on towing and impounding vehicles after a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s drug convictions.
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Judges reverse trespass conviction of man kicked out of bar

October 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that there is insufficient evidence to support his criminal trespass conviction after he was kicked out of a downtown Indianapolis bar.
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FBI opens hate crime probe in Indiana attack on Muslim woman

October 22, 2015
 Associated Press
The FBI has opened a hate crime investigation into an attack on a Muslim woman in which police say a 19-year-old Indiana University college student shouted racial slurs and tried to remove her headscarf.
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General Motors settles criminal case over ignition switches

September 17, 2015
 Associated Press
General Motors admitted it failed to disclose to the public a deadly problem with small-car ignition switches as part of a $900 million deal reached with federal authorities to avoid criminal charges, authorities announced Thursday.
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Concerns with supervised release conditions

August 12, 2015
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The 7th Circuit has issued a series of additional opinions, shedding more light on the goals, scope and limitations of conditional release.
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COA affirms attempted murder conviction, denial of insanity defense

May 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of attacking and trying to kill his mother’s boyfriend was not prejudiced when a judge denied his request to pursue an insanity defense, a Court of Appeals majority ruled. But a dissenting judge said the man had good cause and would remand for a new trial.
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Indiana man faces more charges in Facebook threat case

May 21, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal grand jury has issued a second indictment with more charges against an Indiana man accused of threatening to blow up a courthouse and kill judges in a Facebook posting.
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Questions over Greensburg police evidence could affect cases

February 16, 2015
 Associated Press
A southeastern Indiana prosecutor says discrepancies uncovered during a State Police investigation of the Greensburg Police Department's evidence room could endanger 16 criminal cases.
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Pulling a switcheroo leads to felony conviction

December 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who switched seats to help a friend failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he unknowingly put himself in the hot seat.
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Gov. Pence hasn't issued single pardon in 2 years

December 22, 2014
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence, who has said he wants Indiana to be a leader in giving criminals who've served their time a second chance, hasn't granted a single pardon during his first two years in office.
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Inside the Criminal Case: Grand juries in Indiana shrouded by law

December 17, 2014
James Bell, K. Michael Gaerte
The effectiveness of grand juries has been in the news lately. In one case, a Missouri grand jury failed to indict a police officer in a case involving the death of an unarmed suspect. When inconsistent testimony was raised as a possible justification for this result, many opined that police needed to carry body cameras. However, approximately a week later, a New York grand jury failed to indict another police officer involved in the death of an unarmed suspect where the officer’s interactions with the suspect were caught on a cellphone video. This led lawyers and non-lawyers alike to wonder what happens behind the closed doors of grand juries. This article speaks to how grand juries are used in Indiana.
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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SCOTUS hears case of fisherman caught in Sarbanes-Oxley net

November 19, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A dispute involving six-dozen undersized fish has a group of legal scholars arguing the federal government’s tendency to broadly interpret the criminal code runs the risk of making everyone guilty of an illegal act.
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Judge urges high court to look at counsel assistance during state psychiatric exam

November 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed citing court precedent that a defendant who was to be examined by the state’s expert based on his insanity defense has no right to the presence of counsel during the psychiatric exam. But Judge Terry Crone argues the Indiana Supreme Court needs to take another look at this issue.
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Judges uphold convictions for death of child at unlicensed home daycare

October 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence that a Hamilton County woman operated a child care home under the law, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday in affirming her convictions related to a death of a child while in her care.
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No dismissal of charges against county treasurer

September 22, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge has rejected a central Indiana county treasurer's request for the dismissal of criminal charges that he mishandled public money.
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Teen has 1 adjudication overturned, must still pay restitution

August 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A teenager adjudicated as delinquent after it was determined he was in a stolen car was able to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse one of his adjudications due to double jeopardy. But, the teen must still pay restitution to the victims of his crimes.
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Venue change granted for Indy house blast suspect

July 31, 2014
 Associated Press
A judge granted a change of venue Wednesday for the trial of one defendant in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion after prosecutors dropped their objection.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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