Criminal Case

Man’s prior conviction doesn’t render him a career offender

May 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s habeas petition, finding his conviction of arson in the third degree in Delaware doesn’t qualify as a crime of violence under U.S.S.G. Section 4B.1. As such, his current sentence should be reduced to reflect he isn’t a career offender.
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State not trying to circumvent adverse ruling in refiling charges

May 10, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s felony cocaine dealing conviction, finding the state, when originally dismissing charges and then later refiling them, was not trying to avoid an adverse ruling that barred testimony of a confidential informant.
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Judges reverse teen’s gang-related adjudication

May 9, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The state was unable to prove that a 14-year-old Indianapolis boy committed criminal gang activity when he and several other juveniles followed another teen after a party, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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7th Circuit: ‘Ransom demand’ requires third-party involvement

May 8, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In order to enhance a criminal sentence on the basis of a ransom demand, that demand must be conveyed to a third-party, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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7th Circuit reaffirms drug conviction over claims of ineffective counsel

May 7, 2013
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of federal drug charges failed to convince a panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that his conviction should be vacated due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The court affirmed a conviction from the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
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More than half of Conour’s inventoried assets gone, feds say

May 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
About half the property that federal agents inventoried after former personal injury attorney William Conour was charged with wire fraud is missing from his home, and just 13 of 78 items at his former law office are still there, according to new government filings in his federal criminal case.
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Gingerich reversal won’t get high court review

March 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
A boy believed to be the youngest person convicted as an adult in Indiana will get a fresh start in juvenile court after the Indiana Supreme Court let stand a reversal of his conviction.
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Gingerich reversal won’t get high court review

March 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court will let stand the reversal of a trial court’s adult conviction and 25-year executed sentence for Paul Henry Gingerich, who was 12 at the time he and an older boy shot and killed a Kosciusko County man.
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Proposed changes would make convicted felons serve at least 75 percent of sentence

February 20, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The worst-of-the-worst criminal offenders will be facing more time while low-level offenders will be given intensive probation under the new sentencing provisions included in the rewrite of the Indiana Criminal Code.
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Lawyer arrested for trying to exchange representation for sexual favor

January 21, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A Marion County attorney has been charged with offering legal services to an undercover police officer in exchange for sex.
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Judges affirm criminal recklessness conviction

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Someone shooting at a residence, for purposes of a criminal recklessness prosecution, may create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person even if the resident is away from the home at the moment of the shooting, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a first impression case.
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3 charged in Indianapolis home explosion

December 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Friday that three people have been arrested in connection with a home explosion in an Indianapolis suburb that killed two people last month and damaged dozens of homes.
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Police had reasonable suspicion to stop men, search bag

October 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals disagreed with an appellant who claimed police did not have reasonable suspicion to believe he and two other men were involved in criminal activity, which led to their stop and his eventual conviction of Class A felony attempted dealing in methamphetamine.
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Criminal recklessness code covers firing gun into car

October 9, 2012
Dave Stafford
A car is a “place people are likely to gather,” the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday, unanimously affirming a Class C felony criminal recklessness conviction and eight-year sentence for a man who fired a gun into car in which a former gang ally was a passenger in Goshen.
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Northwest Indiana officials indicted on federal charges

October 5, 2012
IL Staff
Six people in northwest Indiana, including three council members, were indicted Thursday on federal charges resulting from an investigation by the Northern District of Indiana’s Public Corruption Task Force.
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COA rules trial court erred in suppressing blood evidence in Bisard case

September 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The blood of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer accused of driving drunk and killing one motorcyclist and injuring two others should be allowed at his trial for reckless homicide and other alcohol-related charges, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday morning on interlocutory appeal.
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Neglect conviction, sentence in child’s death affirmed

September 11, 2012
Dave Stafford
The conviction and sentence of a Delaware County woman whose stepdaughter died due to neglect was not inappropriate, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 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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Justices uphold sentence for kidnapping jail officer

July 26, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
In a four-page per curiam decision, the Indiana Supreme Court reinstated the trial court’s 47-year sentence of Roger Bushhorn, who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his escape, kidnapping and assault of jail officials.
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COA upholds child exploitation convictions

July 17, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that the state presented sufficient evidence to support a Marion County man’s five convictions of child exploitation.
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Man who killed girlfriend may be retried for reckless homicide

July 12, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The post-conviction court erred in denying Andrew McWhorter relief when he challenged his conviction of voluntary manslaughter in connection to the death of his girlfriend, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded. McWhorter may not be retried on the same charge, but may face retrial for reckless homicide.
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7th Circuit affirms life sentences in prostitution ring

July 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Two men sentenced to life in prison on an assortment of federal charges related to a prostitution ring involving underage girls that operated in northwest Indiana failed in their appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, but judges asked the trial court to clarify the sentence for a third defendant.
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Justices divided over man’s conviction of criminal trespass

June 29, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The state failed to prove an essential element of criminal trespass, according to one Indiana justice, so he dissented from his colleagues’ decision to uphold a man’s conviction stemming from his refusal to leave his bank.

 
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SCOTUS rules on FCC case, still no health care decision

June 21, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The highly anticipated decision by the United States Supreme Court on health care will come another day. The justices released four opinions Thursday, which did not include the challenges to the health care law. They did decide the case before them involving the Federal Communications Commission.
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Durham found guilty on all counts

June 21, 2012
Cory Schouten
A federal jury found attorney and financier Tim Durham guilty Wednesday on all 12 felony counts stemming from what prosecutors charged was a massive Ponzi scheme that cost investors in Ohio-based Fair Finance more than $200 million.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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.

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