Prosecutors

Justices question prosecutor’s tactics, but decline to award new trial

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that while a Marion County prosecutor committed one instance of prosecutorial misconduct during a man’s trial for sexual misconduct with a minor, the effect of this misconduct did not make a fair trial for the defendant impossible.
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Prosecutor’s ‘continual misconduct’ warrants new molestation trial

June 2, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man’s child molesting convictions were vacated and he was granted a new trial by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which found prosecutorial misconduct amounting to fundamental error. It’s the second reversal and remand attributable to the same prosecutor, the court noted.
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Prosecutor’s comments on defendant not testifying don’t require reversal

May 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, in addressing a defendant’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct, found that any misconduct committed was a harmless error and does not require criminal deviate conduct and sexual battery convictions to be overturned.
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Prosecutor’s lack of objection allows judge to modify sentence

May 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case where a woman sought modification of her sentence more than a year after it was imposed, the Indiana Supreme Court found that the prosecutor’s conduct satisfied the “approval” requirement of Indiana Code 35-38-1-17(b).
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Former GIPC chief faces forgery, theft counts

May 2, 2014
Jeff Newman, IBJ Staff
The former executive director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee was charged Thursday with 26 counts of forgery and one count of theft for allegedly misappropriating more than $96,000 of the organization’s money.
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Indianapolis announces short list for creating justice complex

March 4, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
The city of Indianapolis Tuesday morning announced three development groups that will be invited to submit proposals for a new criminal justice complex.
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Proposed criminal justice complex draws 5 bidders

February 12, 2014
Kathleen McLaughlin
Five groups of developers have responded to Indianapolis' call for candidates to build a new criminal justice complex.
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Indy attorney: airport site 'cannot' work for justice complex

February 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis International Airport may be officials’ preferred location for a proposed Criminal Justice Complex, but some attorneys who work in the system are critical of the idea.
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Special prosecutor sought in Clark County Drug Court matter

February 5, 2014
Dave Stafford
Problems in a southern Indiana drug court – including the jailing of multiple people for months without due process – have led to a formal request for a special prosecutor.
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Prosecutor’s ‘CSI’ remarks don’t reverse molestation conviction

November 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
A prosecutor’s comments to a prospective juror comparing the evidence needed for a conviction to that seen in a typical “CSI” television show weren’t fundamental error, a Court of Appeals panel ruled in affirming a man’s child-molestation conviction.
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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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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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