Criminal Case

COA: Needles near bottle cap support drug conviction

July 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the evidence was insufficient to conclude that he intended to use the two syringe needles found in his clothes to inject heroin.
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Boyfriend gets 55 years for killing woman as kids watched

July 26, 2016
 Associated Press
A judge has sentenced a northern Indiana man to 55 years in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend as her three children watched.
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Man’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails

July 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s assertion that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney didn’t object to the validity of the order placing him on probation.
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Indianapolis man charged in shooting at officer's home

July 14, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis man who allegedly fired shots into a police officer's home as his wife and child slept inside has been charged with criminal recklessness and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
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COA: Plea agreement doesn’t prevent court from considering certain evidence

July 13, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Greensburg father who pleaded guilty to felony dangerous control of a child after his young son accidently shot his future stepbrother lost his claim before the Indiana Court of Appeals that the trial court shouldn’t have considered evidence relating to a dismissed charge.
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Judge tosses murder charge against man jailed 22 years

July 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A New Jersey man who served 22 years behind bars before his murder conviction was overturned has been freed from prison.
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Illinois detectives investigate Indiana killer in 1986 murder

July 12, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana man serving a life sentence for the abduction and murder of an eastern Illinois girl over two decades ago has been identified as a suspect in the strangulation of a woman found in 1986 outside a southwestern Illinois town.
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Judge gives Richmond man 76 years for kidnapping wife

July 12, 2016
 Associated Press
A Richmond man has been sentenced to 76 years in prison for kidnapping his estranged wife two years ago.
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Justices affirm consecutive LWOP sentences

June 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court until Tuesday had never directly addressed the issue of whether two sentences of life imprisonment without parole can be imposed consecutively under Indiana law. Justices decided today that I.C. 35-50-1-2(c) permits it.
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Pit bull owner sentenced to jail for mauling of 2 women

June 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man has been sentenced to four years in jail after his pit bulls mauled two women during a walk.
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Maryland public defender arrested for DUI, assault on cop

June 24, 2016
 Associated Press
A public defender in Annapolis, Maryland has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and kneeing an arresting officer in the groin.
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Panel looks at progress of criminal justice system overhaul

June 24, 2016
 Associated Press
A group of experts from Indiana's judicial and legal system know they have their work cut out for them as they try to change the nature of the state's criminal justice system.
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7th Circuit: Third time’s charm in gun sentencing

June 17, 2016
Dave Stafford
It took three appeals, but a man’s sentence for illegal firearm possession finally satisfied the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Task force debates putting pre-conviction filings online

June 3, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court’s Advisory Task Force on Remote Access to and Privacy of Electronic Court Records voted Friday to recommend attorneys and clients have access online to all criminal case filings they are party to after the conviction has been entered, but did not set a date for when that would be available. The task force is considering whether pre-conviction criminal case filings should go online.
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Molest conviction affirmed; habitual offender waiver remanded

May 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a counsel's mistake did not constitute judicial admission in a man's trial when he was found guilty of molesting his stepdaughter. But the appeals court remanded his guilty plea for being a habitual offender, finding he did not waive his right to trial on the issue at court, his attorney did.
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Felon firearm possession charge affirmed on appeal

May 20, 2016
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis man convicted of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon failed to persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that the search that led to discovery of the gun wasn't supported by reasonable suspicion.
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COA upholds contempt charges in video conference

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's contempt of court charges after it found just because a man was on video didn't mean he couldn't commit contempt, and the evidence was enough to uphold the charges.
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COA upholds conviction, trims sentence in heroin case

May 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's conviction but reduced his sentence for dealing heroin even though he didn't actually participate in the transaction in one of the counts.
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Appellate pleadings and motions going online pushed to July 1

May 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
In its third meeting, the Advisory Task Force on Remote Access to and Privacy of Electronic Court Records shifted discussion to what types of trial court cases should be made available online at mycase.in.gov and any potential issues in doing so.
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Top NY court upholds conviction for illegal knife

May 3, 2016
 Associated Press
New York’s highest court on Tuesday upheld a driver’s conviction for illegal possession for a gravity knife, rejecting arguments that he didn’t know the folding knife he used for work could open with a flick of the wrist.
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Justices toss driving convictions due to delays

April 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled a man who was convicted of four driving offenses should have his case dismissed because the prosecution did not bring him to trial in time while he was in prison for a separate conviction.
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Court divided over failure to identify conviction

April 28, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Although the majority found a defendant’s evasiveness in answering identifying questions from a police officer “reprehensible,” the judges reversed the man’s failure to identify conviction because he did eventually provide the information to the officer.
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Central Indiana school principal charged with not reporting

April 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A prosecutor has charged a central Indiana school principal with misdemeanor failure to report for waiting 17 days to report rumors an employee sent naked photos of herself to students.
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COA: Time expired in bringing criminal trial

April 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s felony and misdemeanor charges after it found the state did not bring him to trial within a 365-day time period.
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COA: Fees can be charged in case without indigency hearing

April 14, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals said an indigency hearing is not required before determining fees in a court case, though it should be conducted at some point, in a case where a man was charged more than $1,000 in court fees without a hearing. It also said the court cannot impose requirements that he maintain a “C” average in his school and have full-time employment.
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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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