Criminal case

Justices affirm 1989 murder convictions

February 19, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld four murder convictions against a Lakeville man who as a teenager killed his family 20 years ago.
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Court affirms delay in jury trial for congestion

February 18, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a defendant's arguments that because his request for a speedy trial was in writing, his trial should take priority over another man's trial scheduled for the same day.
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Woman didn't prove she should get new trial

February 6, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a defendant didn't meet her burden of proving her newly discovered evidence claim, the Indiana Court of Appeals today upheld the denial of her petition for post-conviction relief.
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COA: Mother not liable for death as gun buyer

January 30, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in a negligence claim in favor of a woman whose husband killed her daughter with a gun she purchased for him, finding the designated evidence doesn't show proximate cause.
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Judges differ in stipulation matter

January 27, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed on whether a defendant pleaded guilty to the enhancement of his auto theft conviction based on his previous conviction for a similar crime.
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Miscarriage an 'act' in intimidation charge

January 22, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today a man's conviction of and sentence for intimidation after he threatened his wife, who recently miscarried. The appellate court ruled the miscarriage fulfilled the "act" part of the charge as contemplated by Indiana statute.
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COA adopts 'compromise approach' of theory

January 20, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man's conviction of child molesting, ruling he failed to prove the trial court erred by excluding certain evidence regarding his victim.
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COA: No credit for pretrial home detention

January 14, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court's decision not to award a man credit time for pretrial home detention, finding the man's rights weren't violated under the federal or Indiana constitutions.
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COA reverses assisting criminal conviction

January 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman's conviction of misdemeanor assisting a criminal Jan. 2 because the state failed to define "fugitive from justice" and prove the criminal was charged with an offense in another state and fled to Indiana.
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Justices split in traffic-stop decision

January 5, 2009
Jennifer Mehalik
The Indiana Supreme Court justices were split in their decision issued Dec. 31 on whether a defendant's state and federal constitutional rights were violated when police questioned him about weapons and drugs after he was pulled over for a traffic violation.
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Judges disagree on intent issue in rape trial

January 1, 2009
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed as to whether a defendant in a rape case put his intent at issue during trial by attempting to show his victim consented to sex with him.
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Judges differ in interpretation of earlier ruling

December 31, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today as to whether a man's convictions of attempted sexual misconduct with a minor and attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors should be reversed because his intended victim was actually a police officer conducting an online sting operation.
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Mom's promoting prostitution sentence stands

December 30, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the 17-year sentence for a woman convicted of prostituting her daughter, finding her sentence was appropriate and that an even longer sentence could be justified.
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COA upholds violent offender registration

December 29, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the state's sex and violent offender registry doesn't violate the Indiana Constitution by requiring violent offenders to register for a 10-year period or for life.
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COA: Let a sex offender stipulate

December 23, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A convicted sex offender accused of failing to register will get a new trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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7th Circuit rules on sex offender registrationRestricted Content

December 22, 2008
Michael Hoskins
A reasonable grace period is required before the federal government can enhance a convicted sex offender's punishment for not registering after a move to a new state, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA: Warrant didn't need to be admitted

December 22, 2008
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case of first impression involving whether an active arrest warrant must be admitted into evidence when the defendant has not challenged the warrant's validity, the Court of Appeals has affirmed an appellant-defendant's conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana that an officer discovered during a routine traffic stop.
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Men took substantial steps to commit crime

December 18, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the same issue in two separate Indiana cases of men chatting on the Internet with people they believed to be teen girls: whether there was evidence the men had taken "substantial steps" toward committing the crimes of enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
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Judges disagree on public intox conviction

December 5, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman's conviction of public intoxication, but the judge dissenting in the case believed the majority reweighed the credibility of the witnesses and their testimony to reach their decision.
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Man can't collaterally attack sentence again

December 4, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has again denied a man's attempt to have his drug conviction overturned or sentence reduced because he had used the one 28 U.S.C. Section 2255 motion he was allowed and he can't challenge his sentence again under the same section.
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7th Circuit cautions about propensity inferenceRestricted Content

November 20, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a man's drug convictions with intent to distribute, but questioned how a previous drug conviction showed the man had intent or absence of mistake in the instant case.
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Court orders re-trial after jury instruction error

November 13, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a re-trial for a man convicted of attempted murder after ruling today the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury on accomplice liability.
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COA affirms sexually violent predator findings

October 28, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that two defendants are sexually violent predators, ruling the state had produced sufficient evidence to support the determinations under the versions of the sexually violent predator statute used by the trial courts in each case.
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COA revises child molesting sentence

October 23, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man's convictions of child molesting, but reduced his sentence because he can't be considered among the worst offenders to justify the maximum sentence.
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COA: Collateral estoppel not applicable

October 2, 2008
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress evidence because the defendant couldn't prove collateral estoppel precluded the trial court from denying his motion.
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  1. Am I the only one who sees that the City is essentially giving away the MSA site AND giving millions to build new buildings on the site when this site would be the perfect place for the Justice Complex? Across from City-County, check; keeping it centrally located, check, etc. It's my understanding that the GM site must be purchased by the City from Motors Liquidation Company. STOP WASTING WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE AND OUR TAX DOLLARS! The Ballard Administration has not been known for it's common sense...never voted for him and never will!

  2. This guy sounds like the classic molester/manipulator.

  3. Louis D. Brandeis was born in 1856. At 9 years of age it would have been 1865. The Brandeis family did not own slaves. My source Louis D. Brandeis: A Life, by Melvin L. Urofsky.

  4. My name is Matthew Lucas Major, I recently went through a jury trial in Bloomington , In. It was the week of Feb 19-21. Although I have been incarcerated since August 5, 2014. The reason I 'am writing to you sir is on the 21 of February the jury came in with a very excessive and wrongful verdict of guilty on 6 child molesting charges against my daughter who was 9 at the time I was accused. I also had 2 other Felonies one of Intimidation and 1 of Sexual Vicarious Gratification. Judge Marc Kellam on the second day of trial gave me a not guilty on those 2 felonies. The jury was sent out during that time and when brought back Judge Kellam told them to not concern themselves with the 2 Felonies that he ruled on them. They were told to not let evidence they had already heard influence there verdicts. I never in my life touched any child sexually and definitely not with my own daughter. When I was arrested Detective Shawn Karr told me I would be convicted guilty just on my daughters word even without evidence. That's just what happened. my public defender did me so wrong he never once proved to the court and jury all the lies the child told, and Jeremy Noel my public defender could of proven the lies easily. The stories in Serenity's depositions and Forensic interview changed and were not consistent as Prosecutor Darcie Fawcett claimed they were. Yet my attorney never mentioned that. The facts that the child accused me of full penetration in her vagina and rectum was proven lies. Doctor Roberta Hibbard of Riley hospital in Indianapolis confirmed Serenity's hymen intact, no scars, no tearing, no signs of rape to her. Yet my attorney didn't use that knowledge . the DNA was all in my favor. I tell you I will spend my entire life in prison going through rape and beatings etc. even Judge Kellam abused his authority by telling the jurors to listen and believe what the prosecutors side in evidence like my daughters testimony. In one interview with the detectives my daughter got flustered with her mom and said on camera " I'm saying what you told me to mom"!! Yet Mr. Noel said nor did anything to even resemble a defense attorney. Judge Kellam allowed edited version of a taped conversation between the child and her mother. Also Judge Kellam allowed the Prosecutor too bring in to my case a knife found under my seat, the knife wasn't part of my case. She was allowed by my attorney and the judge to put a huge picture of it on the screen and huge picture of my naked privates in a full courtroom and open court. Ms. Fawcett says to jury see how easy Mr. Major could reach the knife and cut his Childs throat. Even though I had no weapons charge against these cases. This gave the jurors prejudice thought against me thinking I threatened her with that knife and how scared she would of been knowing i could get it and kill her. On my sentencing court March 19, 2014 my public defender told Judge Kellam he wish to resign from being my attorney and wished for the court to give me outside council to file a error to trial or appeal. We were denied. Now after openly knowing my public defender don't want to represent me he has to. Well when as parents we make our kids clean a room when they really don't wish to, well the child will but don't mean she will do a good job, that's where I'm at with Mr. Noel. please dont ignore mine and my families pleas for your help . we have all the legal proof you could need to prove Im innocent. Please dont make my spend years in prison innocent when you can fix this wrong. Im not saying Im a perfect man or that I was a perfect dad to my 2 children none of us are. Ive made some bad choices in life and I paid for them. But I didnt ever touch or rape my daughter . I love my children with all my heart. And now through needing attention and a ex-wife who told my granny several times she wish she could put me in prison to get me out of their lives. Well my ex finally accomplished her goal. Sad part is she is destroying our daughter with all this horrific lies and things she taught my daughter to say. My daughter will need therapist to ever hope for a chance of a normal life after what she had done to her by her mom and their side of the family. My daughter told everyone even on stand she had a dream months before i supposedly molested her in this dream I was molesting her and when I finally did it matched her dream perfectly. She admitted to watching movies about little girls being molested and watching U-Tube videos about child molesting all before it happened supposedly to her. Doesn't that sound very unusual that a non molested 9 yr old would need to know so much about being molested? The only reason I could think a 9 year old would need so much information is to be prepared to know what to say and be able to say how it felt what took place etc.. So when questioned by authorities she would be prepared. And there again sir if a parent is pre grooming a 9 year old child she would need intimate details . Like telling her daughter about a couple moles on my private area. The child admitted to sneaking my cell and looking many many times at nudes of me and my girlfriend even one where my penis was entering my girlfriends vagina. In that picture my moles are obvious. Yet when prosecutor showed everyone in court my privates and pictures of the moles she said the only way the child would know about them is if she saw them for herself. My attorney once again said nothing about the pictures my child saw. Or could a ex-wife be able to describe my moles to help her case against getting rid of me? I beg you help me. This is my very existence. Ive lost everything , a good job, a wonderful girlfriend, my freedom, but worse thing Ive lost is my children. They were my reason to get up every morning and strive to be better. The wonderful bond I had with my Serenity is gone. After this I would be afraid to even hug her for fear of what next can they do to me. I'm not afraid to tell you I sit here in this cell and try to hold back my tears. Everyone knows you cant show weakness in prison. My life has already been threatened here at Wabash Valley Prison. After only 3 days of arrival. I was tricked into signing a waiver now Im in G Block General Population with 6 child molesting felony charges. Mrs. Hart as a 18 year old I almost died hooked to machines in hospital almost 1 month and now I know that fear was childish compared to this . I cant help but put emotions in this, after all Mrs. Hart Im human and God help Me I never been more afraid in my life. I didnt hurt my little girl I didnt touch her sexually. As much as it shreds me and fills my mind what Im facing I worry more about my mom and granny because of their great love for me mam they are suffering so deeply. I aint done this things but my loved ones suffering right along beside me and If you take my case you will be in essence freeing them also. I sent momma this letter and asked her to email it to you. I'm scared I have been done so unjustly by our legal system and I need you to fix this and give me freedom. I ask you please don't just ignore my pleas. Here in America its nice to be able to trust our legal justice system, well they destroyed my and my loved ones trust in our justice system . And I'm trusting in You !!! My entire family is suffering this nightmare with me. My 77 year old granny had a stroke and isn't doing so well. My single mother that raised 3 kids alone is dying from Lupus and since my arrest has stayed so sick and weary. Our lives torn to peices by a government I was taught I could trust in. my momma has tried so many innocent project and wrongfully accused and cant get anywhere. please please help me. A quote from the late Nelson Mandela: To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, But to live in a way that respects and enhances The Freedom Of Others. I have Faith in you and your clinic to cast my chains off and give me freedom I do deserve as a wrongfully accused Man, son, brother, father, friend. Matthew Major DOC# 246179 Cause # : 53c02-1308-FA-000779 God Bless you. Please contact me with your decision so I know you made a life changing decision for me , just please at least write me so I know you care enough about your citizens to respond to cries for your help. You can speak openly with my mother Charlotte Spain (828) 476-0406: 71 Lakeview Dr. Canton, NC 28716 Thank You Matthew Major I know yall get thousands of request and inmates claiming innocence, and each person who are innocent deserve to have organizations like yours willing to fight for them and I give yall so much Thanks and I thank God everyday yall are out there caring enough to help free the innocents. Since discovering firsthand how easily lives and families can be destroyed by Poor Defense attorneys not doing their job . And Prosecutors allowed to do as they please in court

  5. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

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