Trials

Court upholds 3-year sentence for assault on girlfriend

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that his decision to waive his right to a jury trial deserves some mitigating consideration when sentencing him. The judges affirmed Timothy McSchooler’s three-year prison sentence for strangling his girlfriend.
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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.
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Court orders defendants to wear leg restraints at trial

June 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A federal judge in Terre Haute has granted the government’s request that two defendants wear modified leg irons at an upcoming jury trial due to their violent criminal histories – both outside of prison and while incarcerated. The men face charges stemming from the murder of a fellow inmate.
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Judges reverse convictions due to Batson challenge error

May 28, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County trial court erred when it overruled a man’s Batson challenge contesting the state’s use of a peremptory challenge to strike an African-American juror, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday. The appeals court overturned Tyrece Robertson’s convictions and ordered a new trial.
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Justices: Cop went too far in saying man’s race prevented a fair trial

May 13, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court had strong words for police officers who intentionally mislead a suspect as to his rights to a fair trial and impartial jury because of his race: The tactic is unacceptable.
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Justices clarify jury taint, mistrial standards

April 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because the Indiana Court of Appeals cited three different mistrial standards in a man’s appeal of the denial of his motion for a mistrial, the Indiana Supreme Court took his case to clarify its precedent for trial courts to use to determine whether a mistrial is a cure for a jury taint.
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Man knowingly waived right to jury trial on all charges

April 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s argument that he only agreed to a bench trial on one of the seven charges he faced following a violent altercation with his girlfriend.
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Partially bifurcating trial prevented prejudice

November 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant’s argument that he was prejudiced by a trial court’s decision to not fully bifurcate his murder trial failed in the Indiana Supreme Court.
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Divided COA: Statement on record unneeded to waive jury trial

October 11, 2013
Dave Stafford
The majority of a Court of Appeals panel affirmed a Hendricks County man’s conviction in a bench trial of misdemeanor intimidation, but a dissenting COA judge wrote the defendant was improperly denied a jury trial and his conviction should be tossed.
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3 things to know about the boundaries of closing arguments

August 28, 2013
Attorneys James Bell and Mike Gaerte discuss the three things that criminal defense attorneys should know about the limits of a prosecutor's closing arguments.
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Judge sets decorum rules for Shuai trial

August 2, 2013
Dave Stafford
Anticipating a high-profile, weeks-long trial beginning after Labor Day, a Marion County judge Friday laid down rules for public and media decorum in the criminal case against Bei Bei Shuai.
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Prosecutor’s closing argument deprived defendant of fair trial

July 31, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A man convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor will get a new trial after the Indiana Court of Appeals found the prosecutor’s zealous statements made to a jury during closing arguments deprived the man of a fair trial.
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7th Circuit affirms drug convictions, sentence

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an Indiana man’s convictions and 360-month sentence for drug-related offenses, rejecting his claims that his right to a speedy trial was violated and the starting time of his offenses was incorrectly determined by the District Court.
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Man accused of violating city ordinances entitled to jury trial

July 11, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Because the underlying substantive claims brought against an Indianapolis man regarding his treatment of his dog are quasi-criminal, he is entitled to a jury trial under the Indiana Constitution, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Butler to host panel on Shuai murder, attempted feticide case

June 25, 2013
IL Staff
A panel of legal and medical experts will discuss the murder and attempted feticide case against Bei Bei Shuai, whose prosecution in Indianapolis has made international headlines. The event will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Butler University.
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Man who fled after hearing not entitled to discharge

June 6, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The motion for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) by a man charged in connection with a gun shop burglary in Morgan County was properly denied by the trial court, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday. Much of the delay in bringing him to trial within a year was attributable to the appellant, including his decision to flee after a hearing.
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Toxicology lab witness’s failure to appear dooms drunken-driving conviction

April 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A Tennessee man’s drunken-driving conviction in Shelby Superior Court was tossed because his trial took place more than a year after his arrest, largely due to a toxicology lab worker’s failure to appear for scheduled depositions, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Justices order new trial for man tried in absentia

February 19, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A North Carolina man who was convicted of two counts of Class C felony neglect of a dependent by an Elkhart Superior Court while the defendant was on a bus on the way to court will get a new trial, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded Tuesday.
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Indianapolis police officer’s trial moved to Allen County

February 15, 2013
IL Staff
The trial of David Bisard, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer accused of driving drunk and killing one motorcyclist and injuring two others, will be moved from Marion County to Allen County.
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Appeals court: Felon waived speedy trial, judge challenges

November 2, 2012
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of multiple felonies lost his appeal when the court determined he had not objected to matters raised in the appeal during his jury trial or sentencing.
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Clay County man entitled to discharge because of ruling delays

October 1, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that Scott F. West is entitled to discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C) because he was held to answer on marijuana charges for more than a year without a trial date while his motion to suppress awaited a ruling.
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Arguments for pretrial release found to be 'unquestionably inappropriate'

September 11, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has dismissed without prejudice a request by a defendant to be released from jail while awaiting his third murder trial.
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Mom’s conviction due to child’s school absences upheld

August 30, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that an Indianapolis mother was not unlawfully denied a right to a jury trial on her Class B misdemeanor failure to ensure school attendance charge.
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Judges order new trial due to counsel’s deficient performance

August 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County man was prejudiced by his counsel’s error of not timely filing a request for a jury trial, so the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered a new trial on his Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement conviction.
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Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

August 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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  2. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  4. 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.

  5. 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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