St. Joseph County

Supreme Court hears arguments in threat case

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday morning on whether to grant transfer in a case on the question of whether an arrestee's statement could be considered a true threat because there is no evidence that the officer felt threatened by it.
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Pence picks Taft attorney as next Supreme Court justice

May 9, 2016
IL Staff
Gov. Mike Pence has selected Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP partner Geoffrey Slaughter as Indiana's 109th justice. Pence made the announcement at 1 p.m. Monday from his office in the Statehouse.
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St. Joe Circuit judge named as new federal magistrate

April 27, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch is moving from one court to another this year. The judge, who decided not to run for re-election, has been selected to serve as a magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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Judge accepts 3rd plea deal in Granger party overdose case

April 14, 2016
 Associated Press
A South Bend judge has accepted a third plea agreement for a teenager accused of bringing drugs to a party that two brothers attended before dying of overdoses.
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Jury finds South Bend teen convicted of murder had gang ties

April 4, 2016
 Associated Press
South Bend jury finds teenager convicted of murder should have sentence enhanced for criminal gang activity.
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Jury convicts 7th person in fatal shooting of South Bend boy

April 1, 2016
 Associated Press
Jurors have convicted a seventh person of involvement with gunfire during a gang fight that resulted in a South Bend toddler being fatally wounded by a stray bullet.
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ADA claims against St. Joseph County courts fail in 7th Circuit

March 24, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment for the St. Joseph County court system in a case involving accessibility of the St. Joseph County Courthouse and the Mishawaka County Services Building. The court said many of the plaintiffs’ claims lack standing, while others failed to raise genuine disputes of material fact.
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Ruling: Simon must face anti-trust suit from competitor

March 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group must face an anti-trust lawsuit from a competitor that developed a northern Indiana shopping center near a Simon mall, a federal judge has ruled.
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Pretrial release project to test assessment tool

January 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court is preparing to test the viability of allowing certain offenders to be released pretrial without having to pay a bail.
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Gotsch will not seek third term as St. Joe Circuit judge

January 6, 2016
IL Staff
St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch announced Tuesday that he will not seek election for a third term in 2016.
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Northern Indiana woman gets probation for home explosion

January 6, 2016
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana woman whom authorities say caused an explosion that heavily damaged her house has been sentenced to nine years on probation after pleading guilty but mentally ill to three counts of arson resulting in bodily injury.
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Carrying on an old family tradition

December 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
Cousins marking 25 years as lawyers are among quartet of Zappias practicing in St. Joseph County.
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6 counties next in line for trial court e-filing

December 28, 2015
 Associated Press
Six Indiana counties — Clark, Harrison, Henry, St. Joseph, Shelby and Wells — will be joining Hamilton County in implementing e-filing in the trial courts during the first half of 2016, with more to come later.
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5 finalists named for St. Joseph judicial position

December 23, 2015
IL Staff
The St. Joseph County Nominating Commission announced Tuesday the five finalists to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Superior Court due to Judge Jerome Frese’s pending retirement.
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Prosecutor seeks to dismiss charge against abortion doctor

December 2, 2015
 Associated Press

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday the doctor fulfilled terms of a pretrial diversion program he entered after being charged last year with failing to report an abortion performed at the Women's Pavilion on a 13-year-old in 2013.

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Vacancy opens up on St. Joseph County bench

November 20, 2015
IL Staff
St. Joseph Superior Judge Jerome Frese is retiring early next year, opening up a spot on the bench. The St. Joseph County Judicial Nominating Commission will hold interviews with candidates in late December.
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Judge calls out DLGF ‘infirmities’ in ruling for township, fire district

November 13, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth had a few choice words for the Department of Local Government Finance in finding the state hadn’t answered the key question in a township’s tax appeal.
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Jail conditions ordered eased for Indy blast convict

August 6, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge in South Bend has ordered a northern Indiana jail to ease conditions for an Indianapolis man awaiting sentencing on charges stemming from a deadly house explosion.
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Petition: Jail mistreats Indianapolis house blast convict

August 5, 2015
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indianapolis man awaiting sentencing on charges stemming from a deadly house explosion allege he's being mistreated in a South Bend jail.
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St. Joe County to pay $270K for not holding prompt hearings

August 5, 2015
 Associated Press
St. Joseph County in northern Indiana has agreed to pay $270,000 to settle a federal class-action lawsuit that accuses the county of failing to provide those arrested with probable cause hearings within 48 hours, the South Bend Tribune reported.
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Jury hears closing statements on man accused in home blast

July 13, 2015
 Associated Press
Jurors have heard closing statements from the state and defense in the trial of a man accused of planning a 2012 home explosion that gutted an Indianapolis subdivision and killed a neighboring couple.
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Defense calls 1 witness in Indianapolis home explosion trial

July 10, 2015
 Associated Press
More than 160 witnesses testified for the prosecution in the month-long trial of a man accused of planning a home explosion that gutted an Indianapolis subdivision in 2012, killing two neighbors.
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Judge gives 35-year term in South Bend toddler's killing

July 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana judge has sentenced a 20-year-old man to 35 years in prison in the 2014 shooting death of a South Bend toddler.
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ATF agent found no bomb evidence at house explosion

July 8, 2015
 Associated Press
An agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told jurors he found no evidence of a destructive device or bomb at a 2012 explosion that devastated an Indianapolis neighborhood, killing two.
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Evolving science helps link defendants to crime

July 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
St. Joseph County obtained its first conviction using DNA evidence in 1992.
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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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