Criminal Case

7th Circuit vacates brandishing sentence for lack of jury finding

November 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
A man convicted of attempted robbery in Indiana federal court will be resentenced after the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found Tuesday that the jury failed to find that the defendant had actually aided and abetted the brandishing of firearms during the robbery.
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COA: Mentally disabled man belongs in work release, not prison

October 31, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Greene County man whose home detention was revoked in favor of imprisonment will now be sent to a work-release facility after the Indiana Court of Appeals found that the man’s financial situation and documented mental illnesses were  mitigating factors in his sentencing.
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Supreme Court gives new chance to 5 Arizona inmates

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court is ordering Arizona judges to reconsider life sentences with no chance of parole for five inmates who were convicted of murder for crimes they committed before they turned 18.
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COA: Police lawfully entered home; battery conviction upheld

October 31, 2016
Olivia Covington
A Richmond man’s request to have his conviction for battery against two police officers overturned was denied Monday by a panel of the Indiana  Court of Appeals, which found that the officers had lawfully entered the man’s home because they suspected him of being armed and dangerous.
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Man who broke officer's jaw gets 30-year sentence

October 24, 2016
 Associated Press
A southern Indiana man convicted of punching a jail officer so hard it broke his jaw in three places has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
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Child porn accuser drops lawsuit against ex-Subway pitchman

October 21, 2016
 Associated Press
The family of a girl who accused Jared Fogle in a child pornography case that led to the former Subway pitchman's imprisonment is dropping a lawsuit against him.
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COA finds victim credible, affirms rape, theft convictions

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
After entering a Marion County family’s home with a gun, raping the mother and robbing the family of valuable possessions, the man convicted in the case cannot have his multiple convictions overturned after the Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that the mother’s testimony was not incredibly dubious.
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Dissenting COA judge seeks to double molester’s sentence

October 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A dissenting Indiana Court of Appeals judge Wednesday said he would use the court’s authority to double the sentence of a man ordered to serve four years in the Indiana Department of Correction for his conviction of two counts of Class C child molesting.
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COA: Illinois sex offender must register in Indiana

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Illinois sex offender now living in Indiana must keep his name on the Indiana sex-offender registry after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that there was no ex post facto violation in applying the state’s registration tolling statute to the man after he moved to Indiana.
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COA allows juvenile expungement despite pending charge

October 19, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Court of Appeals has allowed a Marion County man’s juvenile record to be expunged after finding that a criminal charge that was filed against him after he filed a petition for expungement cannot be held against him in the expungement case.
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Ex-Lake Station mayor begins serving federal sentence

October 17, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Lake Station mayor Keith Soderquist has begun serving a four-year federal prison term for public corruption.
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ISBA panel says a confession is not always true

October 5, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The conviction of Brendan Dassey, the Wisconsin teenager whose admission of guilt and subsequent trial for murder were part of the docuseries “Making a Murderer,” has brought fresh attention to the fact that innocent people do confess to crimes they did not commit
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Underwood man found guilty in death of son, 4

October 4, 2016
 Associated Press
Jurors in Jeffersonville have convicted an Underwood man of battery and neglect in the death of his 4-year-old son.
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Trial starts for dad charged in missing baby case

October 4, 2016
 Associated Press
The trial for an Indianapolis man accused in the death of his 6-week-old son is expected to start Tuesday.
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Inmate death a challenge for states: How to tell victims?

September 30, 2016
 Associated Press
States have struggled to meet a 2004 federal mandate to notify crime victims of certain events, including an offender's death: Most notifications that an inmate has been released from custody don't mention the inmate's death.
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Ex-IU running back pleads not guilty to molestation

September 30, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Indiana University running back Kiante Enis has pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony child molestation for allegedly having an illegal relationship with a girl under age 13.
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Tweeting reporters allowed in court?

September 21, 2016
Olivia Covington
Members of the media and judges are working together to develop standards for journalists who want to cover court proceedings to protect defendants and allow transparency.
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Indiana driver accused of hitting horse-drawn buggy, fleeing

September 6, 2016
 Associated Press
A Yorktown man is accused of hitting a horse-drawn buggy with his pickup truck and then fleeing the scene.
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Anderson woman pleads guilty in 12-year-old girl's death

September 2, 2016
 Associated Press
An Anderson woman has pleaded guilty in connection with the death of a 12-year-old girl who was fatally injured by a lawnmower.
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Indiana woman uses religious objections law in abuse defense

September 1, 2016
 Associated Press
The attorney for a woman charged with child abuse for allegedly beating her son with a coat hanger says Indiana's religious objections law gives her the right to discipline her children according to her evangelical Christian beliefs.
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Man who parked car on I-94 must face OWI causing death charge

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Criminal charges against a man who prosecutors say was drunk and parked his car in an interstate lane in the early morning hours, leading to the death of truck driver, will move forward after the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the driver’s motions to dismiss and suppress evidence.
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7th Circuit rejects government’s position of inmate self-defense

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hold, as the district court did, that an inmate can only use force in self-defense against a correctional officer if the inmate faces death or serious bodily harm.
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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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Man’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim fails in 7th Circuit

August 30, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The habeas corpus petition by a prisoner at the Miami Correctional Facility was correctly denied in federal court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Monday. The man argued his appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel regarding his habitual offender adjudication.
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Man’s sentence for body armor possession upheld

August 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence for a convicted felon who was found wearing body armor after police pulled him over for traffic violations and fleeing officers.
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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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