evidence

Judge: Private Facebook messages fair game at arson trial

October 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has declined to prevent private Facebook messages from being considered as evidence at the trial of two people charged in an Evansville marina fire.
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Detective’s testimony on drug buy inadmissible, but harmless error

October 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled the admission of a detective’s statement regarding a controlled drug buy should not have been admitted because it resolved the issue of the defendant’s guilt, but that admission into evidence was a harmless error.
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Boilerplate language can’t support warrant for blood draw

October 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a woman’s motion to suppress a blood sample taken after a police officer suspected her of drunken driving. The judges found the affidavit did not contain specific information alleging the woman drove a vehicle.
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New prosecutor renders defendant’s request moot

September 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant’s request to disqualify the entire LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office from his voluntary manslaughter case because several in the office viewed his conversation with his attorney recorded during a police interrogation is moot because there is a new prosecutor in office, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Court: Man participated in meth manufacturing

September 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s conviction in Whitley County for dealing in methamphetamine by manufacturing was upheld by the Court of Appeals Wednesday. There is evidence that the man knowingly or intentionally aided an acquaintance in making methamphetamine in the home the defendant shared with his girlfriend.
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Shoddy documents draws COA ire

September 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
After appearing to shrug off the need to authenticate documents, a company claiming to own the appellant’s credit card debt got a lesson in Indiana court rules and precedence.
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Admitting evidence of ‘signature’ crime was harmless error

August 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed the conviction of a man who broke into a woman’s home, severely beat her and attempted to rape her. Evidence that the man looked into the window of another woman in the neighborhood 57 days later should not have been admitted at his trial, but the error was harmless in light of DNA evidence connecting the man to the crime.
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DNA proposal highlights worries over privacy

August 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sen. Tim Lanane and his colleagues in the Indiana Statehouse are once again wrestling with when to collect genetic material from individuals in the criminal justice system.
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Indiana team that raided Fogle's home used mobile laboratory

August 24, 2015
 Associated Press
When they arrived at Jared Fogle’s home last month, law enforcement officials were armed with more than a search warrant.
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Court of Appeals affirms man’s domestic battery conviction

August 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evidence from a forensic nurse was not improperly admitted in the trial of a man who was convicted of felony domestic battery against his girlfriend of 20 years.
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TV’s ‘Shift’ suspect got shaft, but rights weren’t violated

August 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was wrongly arrested and charged with murder by Indianapolis police whose investigation was being documented for the reality TV series “The Shift” lost his appeal in a civil rights lawsuit against police.
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Technology erases need for ‘ancient document’ rule

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A longstanding yet rarely invoked federal rule of evidence allowed the admission of an “ancient document” if it was more than 20 years old and appeared to be authentic. However, in an age when decades-old information is easily accessible electronically, a review committee has concluded the exception could be abused.
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7th Circuit divided over appeal from death row inmate

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an inmate on Indiana’s death row a chance for a new trial, finding the exclusion of a witness’s videotaped interview which could have possibly exonerated him was inadmissible as hearsay.
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Interim committees schedule hearings on hot-button issues

August 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana legislators are preparing to examine a proposal that would permit the collection of DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony in the state.
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Judge’s description not impermissible judicial testimony

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County judge who described the testimony to jurors as “heartfelt” did not overstep the prohibition against the judiciary acting as a witness.
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Victim’s statements were dying declaration, COA rules

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the victim, who was shot multiple times and eventually did die, could not have made a dying declaration because paramedics repeatedly told him he would live.
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Justices affirm molestation conviction despite vouching testimony

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of Class C felony child molestation was affirmed Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court, which held that even though improper vouching testimony was admitted in error, the defendant failed to preserve the issue for appeal.
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Trial court erred in ruling defendant waived counsel

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford

A defendant who pleaded with a judge to try to obtain possibly exculpatory video evidence he said his public defender refused to seek did not, by his conduct, waive his right to counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday.

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Unsupported search warrant voids drug conviction

July 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday threw out a man’s cocaine dealing conviction, holding that a search warrant that led to charges against him should not have been issued.
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Trial court had discretion in allowing hearsay statements into evidence

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court, which excused two young girls from testifying against their abuser at trial and instead allowed their prior statements to be admitted into evidence, did not abuse its discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Examiners’ testimony about hair analysis being questioned

July 15, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The announcement earlier this year of concerns surrounding the FBI’s analysis of hair samples put forensic disciplines into the spotlight again and raised questions about reliability and validity of such evidence.
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Incomplete continuity slip gets conviction vacated

July 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Fort Wayne man’s argument that his defense strategy was upended when the government waited until mid-trial to produce a complete chain of custody document convinced the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn his conviction
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Notebook found in car falls under Fourth Amendment exception

July 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A notebook taken from a vehicle during an investigation of an identity-theft scheme was admissible at trial even though police did not have a search warrant, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
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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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Evidence seized from probationer’s roommate violated 4th Amendment

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the partial denial of a man's request to suppress drug evidence found during a routine warrantless search of the residence he shared with a man on probation. The probationer only consented to searches based on reasonable suspicion.
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