witness

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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Information used to obtain search warrant splits Court of Appeals

March 10, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Although the statements from three individuals were hearsay and initially led law enforcement to enter the wrong apartment, a split Indiana Court of Appeals found, collectively, the information supported probable cause.
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ATF agent’s testimony supports gun conviction

March 5, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s weapons conviction Tuesday, ruling that the expert testimony of an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives could be used to prove that a gun had crossed state lines.
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Appeals panel affirms denial of post-conviction relief

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man seeking relief from his 2006 conviction of Class A felony dealing cocaine failed to persuade a panel of the Court of Appeals Tuesday that his 48-year sentence should be reduced.
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Panel dismisses contempt appeal as moot

December 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man held in contempt of court after a judge determined he threatened witnesses in his brother’s murder case had his appeal dismissed Tuesday.
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Contempt conviction for failure to testify affirmed

May 31, 2013
Dave Stafford
A woman who refused to answer questions about another criminal defendant after she was granted immunity was not wrongly convicted of contempt of court, an appellate panel ruled Friday.
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State may drop Bei Bei Shuai murder charge after adverse ruling

January 28, 2013
Dave Stafford
A judge’s ruling last week barring a medical examiner’s testimony that rat poison ingested by Bei Bei Shuai caused the death of her newborn daughter should cause the state to consider dropping all charges, Shuai’s defense attorney said.
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Traffic stop based on companion’s statement did not violate constitutional protections

January 2, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Police had the “reasonable suspicion” required to stop a possible impaired driver, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled, even though the driver’s companion did not specifically tell the officers the driver was intoxicated.
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COA finds plea agreement was not circumvented by admission of uncharged conduct at sentencing

November 14, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
A convicted child molester’s argument that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting during sentencing the testimony of two other alleged victims was rejected by the Indiana Court of Appeals. The court described the appellant’s contention as “pure conjecture supported by nothing in the record.”
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COA affirms $550,000 med mal verdict; denies appellate attorney fees

October 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Lake Superior judge did not err when he allowed a witness to testify on behalf of the party bringing a medical malpractice complaint against a doctor nor in excluding the testimony of the doctor’s expert witness due to untimely disclosure, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Previous testimony allowed in murder trial

September 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A witness’s testimony from a man’s murder trial and the deposition testimony of another unavailable witness were correctly allowed at the man’s second murder trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Court affirms convictions of man who shot at teenagers

August 6, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Porter County man who shot at four teenagers near his property at night because he claimed they were trying to break into his home is not entitled to a new trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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  1. Applause, applause, applause ..... but, is this duty to serve the constitutional order not much more incumbent upon the State, whose only aim is to be pure and unadulterated justice, than defense counsel, who is also charged with gaining a result for a client? I agree both are responsible, but it seems to me that the government attorneys bear a burden much heavier than defense counsel .... "“I note, much as we did in Mechling v. State, 16 N.E.3d 1015 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), trans. denied, that the attorneys representing the State and the defendant are both officers of the court and have a responsibility to correct any obvious errors at the time they are committed."

  2. Do I have to hire an attorney to get co-guardianship of my brother? My father has guardianship and my older sister was his co-guardian until this Dec 2014 when she passed and my father was me to go on as the co-guardian, but funds are limit and we need to get this process taken care of quickly as our fathers health isn't the greatest. So please advise me if there is anyway to do this our self or if it requires a lawyer? Thank you

  3. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  4. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  5. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

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