Prosecutors

County official puts Indiana's expungement statute on trial

November 6, 2013
Dave Stafford
Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega has heard the criticism that he’s on the wrong side of the law when he argues that Indiana’s expungement statute is unconstitutional. But he insists he’s right.
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How the Brizzi public-corruption case unraveled

November 5, 2013
Cory Schouten
Federal authorities suffered a near-complete defeat in their efforts to prosecute the players in an unusual real estate deal in Elkhart, a setback that ultimately doomed an ambitious public-corruption case targeting former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.
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Prosecutor’s closing argument deprived defendant of fair trial

July 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor will get a new trial after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the prosecutor’s zealous statements made to a jury during closing arguments deprived the man of a fair trial.
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Complexity of new expungement law raises questions

July 17, 2013
Dave Stafford
Hundreds rushed to a clerk's office July 1 on a mistaken belief that was the only day they could petition to have their criminal records expunged.
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Ex-prosecutor pleads guilty to bribery

July 3, 2013
IL Staff
A former Marion County deputy prosecutor pleaded guilty Tuesday in an Indianapolis federal court to accepting a bribe. As part of the plea, he agreed to tell federal prosecutors what he knows about public corruption in Indianapolis.
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Indy attorney gets 6 years for estate theft

June 19, 2013
IL Staff
An Indianapolis attorney who faced felony charges for stealing more than $270,000 from an estate he managed pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office announced Tuesday.
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Conour still free though judge ‘deeply, deeply concerned’

June 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Former leading personal-injury attorney William Conour remained free Thursday pending his wire fraud trial after a federal judge withheld ruling on the government’s bid to revoke his bond on claims that he dissipated assets against court orders.
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Deputy prosecutor fired for errors in handling protective order violation

June 5, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The employment of an unnamed St. Joseph County deputy prosecutor has been terminated after deciding not to prosecute a man following his May arrest for violating a protective order. Several days later, that man allegedly stabbed and killed his young daughter.
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Former Marion County deputy prosecutor agrees to plead guilty to bribery

May 13, 2013
Cory Schouten
The top deputy under former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge for his role in the early release of a woman convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme.
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Aid rises for those wrongly convicted

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prosecutors and police helped clear more than half of those exonerated in 2012, according to a report by the National Registry of Exonerations.
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7th Circuit upholds precedent but asks for further guidance from U.S. Sentencing Commission

April 9, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Although a gun buyer had his sentence affirmed, his argument for reduced time has caused the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to call upon the Sentencing Commission to clarify a section of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
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Concerns about CHINS petitions raised during budget hearings

March 28, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
After the Indiana Department of Child Services made its presentation to the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, the discussion quickly turned to Child in Need of Services petitions.
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Defendant in neighborhood explosion now faces conspiracy to commit murder charge

March 28, 2013
IL Staff
Mark Leonard, one of three arrested and charged for an explosion in an Indianapolis neighborhood that killed two people, has been charged with Class A felony conspiracy to commit murder. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office alleges he attempted to arrange a murder-for-hire plan while in jail on charges stemming from the explosion.
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Prosecutor can’t grant use immunity to parents of injured infant

March 28, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Wednesday that a prosecutor can’t petition a court to compel a party to testify under the grant of use immunity when the party is the primary target of the investigation and has invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination if no charges have been filed or a grand jury proceeding hasn’t been initiated.
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Problem-solving courts, CHINS legislation return to house of origin

March 20, 2013
IL Staff
The Indiana Senate passed several House bills Tuesday, including legislation expanding when a person can participate in a problem-solving court program. The House of Representatives returned bills on children in need of services petitions and prosecutor pensions back to the Senate.
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House Committee approves CHINS bill returning power to prosecuting attorneys

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill giving prosecuting attorneys the ability to file a Child in Need of Services petition continues to garner strong support in the Indiana General Assembly.
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Spotlight: Change of venue case requires planning, preparation and packing

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Moving a trial from one court to another can be cumbersome and brings with it logistical matters that have to be worked out so the lawyers can focus on presenting their case. Transporting office supplies, reserving hotel rooms, securing conference rooms and learning the demographics of the community before selecting the jury are among the tasks that have to be addressed.
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Overhaul of Criminal Code approved by House

February 26, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The bill rewriting Indiana’s Criminal Code gained approval of the House of Representatives Monday by an 80 to 13 vote. The measure now moves to the Senate.
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Prosecutor requesting life without parole for 3 defendants in Indianapolis explosion

February 11, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry has decided to request life sentences without parole, instead of the death penalty, for the three defendants charged in the Richmond Hill subdivision explosion.
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DWD, prosecutor team up to target unemployment insurance fraud

February 5, 2013
IL Staff
Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Scott Sanders and Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced a new partnership between the offices Monday to investigate and prosecute individuals accused of fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.
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State may drop Bei Bei Shuai murder charge after adverse ruling

January 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge’s ruling last week barring a medical examiner’s testimony that rat poison ingested by Bei Bei Shuai caused the death of her newborn daughter should cause the state to consider dropping all charges, Shuai’s defense attorney said.
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3 charged in Indianapolis home explosion

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Friday that three people have been arrested in connection with a home explosion in an Indianapolis suburb that killed two people last month and damaged dozens of homes.
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Low pay leads to high job turnover

November 21, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
Salaries in the public sector are causing the criminal justice system to suffer.
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Prosecutor error insufficient to reverse murder conviction

October 19, 2012
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor improperly presented facts that were not in evidence and inflamed the passions and prejudices of jurors in a murder trial, but his improper conduct didn’t rise to the level of reversible error, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Indiana Department of Child Services urged to set course for new direction

October 10, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
With a new governor taking over Indiana’s executive branch in January, what changes, if any, will come to the Department of Child Services are unknown. However, some contend that should not stop the agency from addressing criticism and implementing new policies or programs now.
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