witness

Supreme Court remands 1995 murder case for new trial

May 5, 2017
A man convicted of murder more than 20 years ago will have a new trial after the Indiana Supreme Court held Friday that his trial counsel performed deficiently and his appeal was not barred by the doctrine of laches.
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7th Circuit affirms murder, racketeering convictions despite government error

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
Despite improper statements made by the government during closing arguments of a trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s murder and racketeering convictions, writing that the statements constituted harmless error.
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Prosecutors balk at curbing eyewitness identifications

November 2, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Public Defender Council touts the proposed rule as helping to prevent wrongful convictions.
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COA: Testimony would have restricted jury’s ability to decide

June 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of voluntary manslaughter after it found the trial court did not err in restricting the testimony of an expert witness for the defense.
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Witness: Indianapolis man promised $10K for home explosion

February 12, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman said she asked her then-boyfriend's half-brother what he had done when she learned the fire they planned to ignite using natural gas had triggered an explosion that killed two neighbors and destroyed or damaged more than 80 homes.
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Oracle says judge's expert biased in $1B Google-Java case

November 20, 2015
 Bloomberg News
Oracle Corp. says it can’t get a fair shake from an economics professor serving as a damages expert in its billion-dollar court battle with Google over the Java platform.
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COA divided over denial of deposition request

September 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split in a decision Wednesday regarding whether a man on trial for a drug charge should have been allowed to depose two witnesses prior to trial. The judges didn’t agree as to which caselaw is controlling in the matter.
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Lawyer on trial, accused of coaching witnesses to lie

August 27, 2015
 Associated Press
The question of how far lawyers can go in providing clients the strongest possible defense underlies a rare trial coming to a close in Chicago, where federal prosecutors accuse an attorney of coaching defendants and witnesses to outright lie.
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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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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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War vet says Indianapolis house explosion caused flashback

June 10, 2015
 Associated Press
A war veteran has testified that a 2012 explosion that heavily damaged an Indianapolis neighborhood and killed two people caused a flashback to his time in Afghanistan.
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Incredible dubiosity argument does not sway Indiana Supreme Court

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Inconsistencies from witnesses on the details of a crime did not convince the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn a jury’s verdict that found a South Bend man guilty of two murders.
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State failed to prove inmate knew he made false statements

March 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state could not establish that a Marion County Jail inmate knew statements he made to a witness over the phone in another inmate’s case were false, the state didn’t prove Johnny Gomillia committed attempted obstruction of justice.
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Denial of witness testimony was harmless error, COA rules

February 12, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court abused its discretion when it did not allow a person to testify on behalf of the defendant based on a separation of witnesses violation, the error was harmless, ruled the Court of Appeals in affirming a man’s felony convictions of vicarious sexual gratification and possession of child pornography.
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Perjury voids conviction; COA refers prosecutor for discipline

November 24, 2014
Dave Stafford
A St. Joseph County man’s burglary conviction was reversed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The state’s knowing use of perjured testimony to obtain the conviction led the panel to refer the case for possible disciplinary action against a prosecutor.
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COA denies State Farm’s request for new trial on $14.5M defamation verdict

September 16, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The $14.5 million defamation verdict awarded against State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. in favor of a contractor who accused the insurer of defaming him remains in place after the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the company’s claim that fraud requires a new trial.
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COA affirms belt considered a deadly weapon in domestic battery case

August 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The belt used by a man to repeatedly strike his girlfriend qualifies as a deadly weapon and supports elevating his battery conviction to a Class C felony, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Friday.
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Women who dodged orders to appear at trial properly declared unavailable

August 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a teen’s conviction of felony robbery, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring two women unavailable for his trial and admitting their depositions at his trial.
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Admittance of hearsay evidence harmless error, rules 7th Circuit

July 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The out-of-court testimony of a woman who said she purchased crack cocaine from a man who was on supervised release should not have been admitted during the man’s hearing regarding revoking his release, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday. But this was a harmless error because the circumstantial evidence supports that the man dealt crack cocaine to the woman.
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Admission of video and recorded statements did not violate Sixth Amendment

July 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The defendant in a drug trial was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his constitutional right to confront a witness was violated when the confidential informant did not testify at trial.
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COA vacates murder conviction for ineffective assistance

June 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman convicted of a 2006 murder received ineffective assistance of counsel and is entitled to a retrial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday, vacating a murder conviction.
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COA split over whether convicted murderer needs new trial

June 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a murder conviction Wednesday after the defendant argued his right to confront witnesses against him was violated. But one judge on the panel agreed with Michael Torres and wrote in his dissent that Torres should have a new trial.
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Court rules gynecologist can’t testify on mental competency

June 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A bank is able to foreclose on a mortgage against the estate of a deceased 95-year-old woman who opened the line of credit to pay her granddaughter to take care of her. But the elderly woman’s daughter argued the granddaughter unduly influenced Mildred Borgwald to open the account.
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Judges reverse convictions based on use of witness’s statement

May 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the state called a witness solely to impeach her with a pretrial statement, and the jury may have relied on the witness’s testimony to convict the defendant, a majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed burglary and receiving stolen property convictions. 
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District Court properly handles expert testimony by non-expert witnesses

March 31, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although neither witness called to testify in a criminal trial was an expert, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the District Court did not err by barring the testimony of the defense witness while allowing the statements of the government witness.
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