Criminal Case

Judge orders law firms to repay city $453,282

September 2, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Merrillville attorney and three law firms must repay East Chicago a total $453,282 in legal fees they collected for defending former city officials in the Sidewalk Six scandal.
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Appeals court looks at revised law on sex-offense status

September 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case today with instructions to re-examine a case about a man’s disputed classification as a sexually violent predator.
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Judges rule man's right to speedy trial was violated

August 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state had an affirmative duty to pursue prosecution of a defendant under his right to a speedy trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The appellate court also disapproved of the state’s blanket policy to not attempt to secure the attendance of an accused incarcerated person in a foreign jurisdiction until he has finished serving his sentence there.
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7th Circuit reverses lower court on stun-belt issue

August 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District judge’s decision that a man convicted of murder received ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial because his attorney didn’t object to the state making him wear a stun belt in court.
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7th Circuit affirms sentences for bank robbing couple

August 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions and sentences of a boyfriend and girlfriend on bank robbery convictions, finding the boyfriend waived his appeal of his sentence and the jury instructions were correct in the girlfriend’s trial.
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Look-alike offense counts as controlled-substance offense in sentencing

August 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A previous conviction for a “look-alike” offense constitutes a controlled-substance offense for sentencing purposes, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the first time Tuesday.
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COA upholds denial of motion to suppress

August 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that the state’s courts should recognize a privacy interest in the subscriber information of an Internet service provider.
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Federal identity theft statute includes use of deceased's identity

August 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A person can be convicted of aggravated identity theft under 18 U.S.C. Section 1028A for using the identity of a person who is dead or alive, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in an issue of first impression.
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7th Circuit affirms Lake County official's sentence

August 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Robert Cantrell’s 78-month sentence for various convictions, including using his position in public office for kickbacks.
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7th Circuit: Officer allowed to resume frisk

August 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
As one 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge cautioned, it’s generally not a good idea to ride around in a car with cocaine on you when police have many reasons why they may legitimately stop the car.
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Felony can't be modified to misdemeanor 9 years later

August 6, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
In a case of first impression, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded with instructions a trial court’s modification of a criminal sentence from a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor nine years after the appellee-defendant pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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Judges find ruling denied mentally ill man's due process rights

August 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed today the denial of a mentally ill man’s motion to dismiss charges against him because not dismissing the charges was a violation of his due process rights.
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7th Circuit expands inquiry to implicit motion for new attorney

August 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals expanded caselaw today when ruling on a defendant’s request for new counsel.
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Court defines due process rights for drug court participants

July 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that his due process rights were denied when his participation in a drug court program was ended without giving him notice of a hearing, or allowing him to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
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Judge worries ruling may make bright-line rule in traffic stops

July 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges each wrote their own opinion on whether a police officer’s safety concerns were legitimate enough to allow the officer to search a car after a traffic stop.
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Majority overturns enticement of minor conviction based on error

July 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Addressing for the issue for the first time, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the “ostrich instruction” in context of 18 U.S.C. Section 2422(b) was not appropriately given to the jury in an enticement of a minor trial.
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COA: Trial court to decide pre-sentencing educational credit time

July 23, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A trial court is the proper authority to determine credit if a defendant earns educational credit time prior to sentencing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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Defendants entitled to competency hearing in probation revocations

July 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Defendants are entitled to a competency hearing as part of their due process rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today, addressing the issue for the first time.
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State, federal double-jeopardy challenge fails

July 20, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A man’s claims of federal and state double-jeopardy violations were rejected today by the Indiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court in a case involving multiple child pornography videos.
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Court rules on first impression 'alibi' witness issue

July 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in excluding testimony of a defendant’s witnesses on the ground they were alibi witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in an issue of first impression.
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Court addresses fine line between traffic stop, arrest

July 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a man’s drunk driving and marijuana possession convictions based on police officer conduct, finding that the officer shouldn’t have held a gun and handcuffed him during what could have been a legitimate traffic stop.
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Retired judge overturned based on bias shown on bench

July 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a convicted child molester because of the conduct from the longtime trial judge, who resigned from the bench in September amid a judicial misconduct investigation.
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Use of wrong statute requires reversal of dealing conviction

July 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Class A felony conviction of dealing in cocaine because the trial court instructed the jury on an incorrect version of the statute that allows for enhancing dealing convictions.
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Court affirms felony nonsupport of a dependent conviction

July 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A man claiming he proved he was unable to pay child support because of his numerous incarcerations did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals. In its ruling today, the court relied on Becker v. Becker to affirm the man’s conviction of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.
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Police entry violated man's constitutional rights

July 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The entry by police into a man’s apartment based on uncorroborated information from an anonymous source violated the man’s federal and state constitutional rights, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. Because of this, the drugs found in the man’s apartment must be suppressed.
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