Felony

Reopening case after closing arguments was not an abuse of discretion

December 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed the state to reopen its case against a defendant after closing arguments because the defendant had been forewarned that certain evidence could be admitted if he presented a contrary intent defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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Lawmakers push for DNA collection from felony arrestees

December 7, 2016
IL Staff
A bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday announced legislation that would require collection of DNA from people arrested for a felony. The proposed legislation will be introduced in the 2017 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
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Justices consider conversion of felony to misdemeanor after plea agreement

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
The effect of legislative changes to state sentencing laws was at center in oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday.
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Tippecanoe County sees increase in felonies with firearms

November 29, 2016
 Associated Press
Tippecanoe County has seen an increase of felonies involving firearms this year with at least 59 people charged in crimes such as battery with a firearm or armed robbery.
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Charges dismissed against doctor accused of overprescribing

November 14, 2016
 Associated Press
A central Indiana judge has dismissed charges against a doctor who had faced allegations of overprescribing painkillers.
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Seymour lawyer faces felony count, disciplinary case

September 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
A Seymour lawyer who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease faces a felony charge and a disciplinary complaint seeking his emergency suspension from the practice of law.
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Indianapolis couple convicted in toddler’s death

September 1, 2016
IL Staff
A Marion County jury convicted a mother and her boyfriend in the death of the mother’s 1-year-old son.
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Man entitled to serve sentence in jail, not DOC

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a trial court to resentence a man under the statute in place when he was sentenced, even though he committed the crime before the date noted in the statute. As a result, he is entitled to serve his Level 6 felony in jail instead of the Department of Correction.
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COA affirms conviction of man who used lawyer’s identity in jail

August 16, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Whether someone used another person’s identity for a lawful purpose is an affirmative defense to the crime of identity deception and not a material element of the crime, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in a first impression matter.
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Man loses challenge to robbery being a violent felony under ACCA

August 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man serving 15 years for drug and gun charges thanks to three prior convictions of robbery in Indiana could not convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that robbery under Indiana law involving only the fear element isn’t a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act.
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Justices extend ruling on repeat offenders' prison terms

April 18, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States has extended its year-old ruling that makes people convicted of repeated violent crimes eligible for reduced prison terms.
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COA: Anonymous tipster’s information enough for conviction

March 8, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon after it found an anonymous tipster’s information constituted reasonable suspicion.
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High court rejects LA appeal over $5.7M jury award to felon

December 14, 2015
 Associated Press
The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that upheld the award to Robert Contreras, who was left paralyzed after police shot him multiple times when he fled the scene of a drive-by shooting in 2005.
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State funds for felon treatment programs start flowing

November 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Department of Correction has begun disbursing $5 million in new state funding meant to help local communities provide treatment and rehabilitation programs for low-risk offenders.
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Conviction affirmed despite Spanish jury waiver form omissions

September 21, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Spanish-speaking litigant failed to persuade an appeals court Monday that omissions on a jury trial waiver form merit reversal of his rape conviction.
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Justices vacate murder convictions for 3 of ‘Elkhart 4’

September 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Three members of the “Elkhart 4” convicted of murder in a controversial, highly publicized case in northern Indiana had their murder convictions vacated Friday by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Rape victim’s work as prostitute does not excuse assault, COA rules

September 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A felon’s attempt to get his rape conviction overturned because his victim was a prostitute drew a sharp rebuke from the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Double jeopardy voids two cocaine convictions

September 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court violated the prohibition against double jeopardy by convicting a man in a bench trial of three felony cocaine possession counts, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in tossing out two of the convictions.
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Child interviewer’s vouching testimony reverses molest convictions

September 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of three counts of Class A felony child molesting must be retried because the trial court erred by admitting testimony from a forensic interviewer who said there was no evidence the alleged victims had been coached.
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Lack of evidence gets criminal confinement conviction dropped

September 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Jefferson County man, convicted of beating up someone who testified against his daughter’s boyfriend, did not confine the victim during the assault, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled.
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Justices take case challenging domestic battery conviction

September 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s convictions of Level 6 domestic battery and battery for his violent acts during a family reunion at a bowling alley will get a second look from the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Lawyer: Former franchisee alerted Subway ad exec about Fogle

August 28, 2015
 Associated Press
A former franchisee alerted an executive in charge of Subway's advertising in 2008 about her concerns about pitchman Jared Fogle, according to her lawyer.
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Taking of pills, keys and car raises single larceny argument

August 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
When Seth Curtis, wielding a gun, climbed back over the pharmacy counter, he had a bag containing Opana pills and the keys belonging to a pharmacy technician’s car. Seconds later, he exited the store, located the car and drove away.
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Reversal: DUI convictions violate double jeopardy

August 26, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who pleaded guilty to a pair of drunken-driving charges was improperly convicted on both counts, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, vacating one of the convictions.
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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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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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