Sentence

Court affirms 3-year home detention for Class D felony

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man was properly sentenced to three years of home detention for conviction of Class D felony receiving stolen property, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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COA reverses sentence based on a ‘suspect enhancement’

January 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that a judge was clearly influenced by a jury’s not-guilty decision on another drug charge when he sentenced a defendant for cocaine possession, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the man’s sentence reduced.
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Lawmakers: Longer sentences, more police will deter crime

January 15, 2015
 Associated Press
Harsher sentences and an increased police presence can help fight crime in Indiana, Republican state senators said Wednesday.
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COA affirms 100-year sentence for 2 murders

December 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man with a history of mental illness was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his 100-year sentence for his role in the murder of two market employees in Elkhart is inappropriate.
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Anderson man gets 65 years in cousin’s slaying

December 16, 2014
 Associated Press
An Anderson man convicted last month in his cousin’s shooting death has been sentenced to 65 years in prison.
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Justices split over reducing meth sentence

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Justices Brent Dickson and Mark Massa disagreed with their colleagues Wednesday that a Tippecanoe County man’s 40-year sentence for Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine needed to be revised.
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Court affirms probation revocation, total time ordered in DOC

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Vigo County man lost his argument before the Indiana Court of Appeals that his term of informal probation should not have been revoked by the trial court after he violated terms of his placement in a home detention program.
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Appeals court upholds teen’s 55-year sentence for murder

December 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 55-year sentence imposed on a juvenile waived into adult court for the murder of a friend. The teen claimed he should have been sentenced under the alternative sentencing scheme available for juveniles.
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DOC credit-time policy does not result in disparate treatment

December 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s argument in his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Department of Correction’s policy concerning the restoration of credit time for inmates. Because the policy does not result in disparate treatment, the judges affirmed the lower court ruling in favor of the DOC.
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Conour appeal focuses on defense withdrawal, sentencing terms

December 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convicted fraudster and ex-attorney William Conour’s appeal of his conviction and 10-year sentence on a federal wire fraud charge argues the court failed to investigate his defense counsel’s withdrawal. His appeal also claims that the court wrongly imposed “suspicionless” searches and other conditions of supervised release following his imprisonment.
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Evidence of felon’s gun tattoo not error

December 1, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defendant who took the stand in his federal trial for felony firearm possession failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Nov. 26 that the evidence of his gun tattoo should not have been admitted.
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Enhancement to sentence upheld by COA

November 26, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding Indiana’s criminal gang enhancement statute can be understood by individuals of ordinary intelligence, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s challenge to his 175-year aggregate sentence.
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Man convicted of brutal beating loses appeal despite errors

November 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A man who was convicted of the brutal beating of his stepfather lost an appeal Wednesday that argued his 2008 traumatic brain injury, prosecutorial misconduct and other factors should have reversed or mitigated his 20-year sentence.
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Man gets 11 years for $1M copper wire theft

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man who admitted to stealing $1 million worth of copper wire from a recreational vehicle plant where he worked has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
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COA revises neglect of dependent conviction stemming from boy’s death

November 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s murder conviction following the death of his girlfriend’s son after he seriously injured the boy while punishing him. But the court reversed his Class B felony neglect of a dependent conviction based on double jeopardy concerns.
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Judges reverse probation revocation due to inadmissible evidence

November 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s probation was revoked based on unsubstantiated evidence, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the revocation Friday.
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Indiana panel hears testimony on human trafficking

November 20, 2014
 Associated Press
A state trooper who investigates human trafficking told a commission devoted to children's issues Wednesday that he's looked into nearly 40 such cases this year but the shadowy nature of the forced sex and labor trade means it's unclear how far the problem reaches into Indiana.
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Indiana man sentenced in shooting of intruder

November 6, 2014
 Associated Press
An eastern Indiana man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for firing gunshots that wounded an intruder who was fleeing his property.
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Senator seeks stiffer punishment for decapitations

October 29, 2014
 Associated Press
The chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee says Indiana needs stronger penalties for decapitation.
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Defense counsel’s move to prosecutor’s side doesn’t require special prosecutor

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s 60-year sentence for shooting and killing his girlfriend after an argument, rejecting his claim that a special prosecutor should have been appointed in his case after his defense counsel took a job with the prosecutor’s office.
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7th Circuit reverses 2 special conditions with bank fraud conviction

October 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The government conceded that a man convicted for using fraudulently produced credit cards should not be subjected to suspicionless searches and seizures by authorities, so the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that condition of his supervised release.
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Judge rejects sentence modification for ex-cop

October 27, 2014
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana judge has rejected a sentence modification for a former police officer convicted of pointing a gun at his girlfriend during a confrontation in front of his two children.
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Judges say Circuit split requires clarification from sentencing commission

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 117-month prison sentence on drug and weapons charges, but two judges believed the case should have been heard en banc based on the importance of a sentencing issue.
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Split COA reverses denial of post-conviction relief

October 21, 2014
Dave Stafford
A defense attorney’s failure to raise the consecutive sentencing limitation prejudiced his client, the majority of a Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing denial of post-conviction relief for a man convicted of multiple burglaries. The court remanded for resentencing to trim six years off a 28-year prison term.
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Evidence doesn’t show existence of family housing complex at time of crime

October 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s Class A felony conviction for dealing cocaine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex because the state didn’t prove the complex qualified as family housing under the law at the time of the offense.
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  2. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  3. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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