Criminal Case

Judges reverse denial of motion to suppress

January 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found police should have given a Spanish-speaking man arrested for driving without receiving a license a Miranda warning before he filled out an information sheet. As a result of his answers, police later charged him with forgery because his name on the sheet didn’t match what he provided to his employer.
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State representative's attacker permanently disbarred

January 13, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indianapolis attorney who violently attacked and attempted to kill a state representative has been permanently disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.
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COA: post-conviction proceedings not equivalent to civil proceedings

January 3, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has held that a post-conviction court isn’t required to accept any proffered agreement from a defendant because that type of proceeding isn’t the same as a civil hearing and the Indiana Supreme Court has given local judges final authority in accepting or denying agreements.
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7th Circuit upholds embezzlement convictions against ex-mayor

December 28, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed ex-East Chicago Mayor George Pabey’s convictions of embezzling government funds and conspiring to embezzle and found the District Court didn’t err when it sentenced him to 60 months in prison.
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Federal incarceration doesn't count toward speedy trial clock

December 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a Marion Superior judge’s decision not to dismiss charges against a man who alleged his constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated because the state didn’t bring his case to trial within a year, as required by Rule 4(C) of the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure.
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Appellate court upholds murder conviction

December 9, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the circumstantial evidence presented at trial was sufficient to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a man killed his wife.
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Man gets 326 months imprisonment, lifetime supervision for child pornography

December 6, 2011
Michael Hoskins
U.S. Judge Robert Miller Jr. sentenced an Elkhart man to 326 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release after his guilty plea to sexually exploiting children.
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Confidential informant testimony did not hinder defense

December 6, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
A man who was arrested after a confidential informant arranged drug buys was not hindered by the fact that the informant testified at trial anonymously, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Appellate court upholds criminal recklessness conviction

December 1, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals determined there was sufficient evidence to uphold a man’s conviction of criminal recklessness regarding his firing of a gun.
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Knowing the possible consequences

November 23, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Legal community works to ensure defendants know plea agreements could impact immigration status.
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Supreme Court to hold arguments in St. Joseph County

November 11, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court will visit Indiana University South Bend and Notre Dame Law School Monday to hear arguments in two cases, including one in which a teen was sentenced to life without parole for murdering his brother.
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Judges find man's sentence violates statute

October 27, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals relied on a case from the state’s highest court to rule on whether a term of imprisonment for the purposes of Indiana Code 35-50-3-1(b) includes both the executed and suspended portions of a sentence.
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COA affirms jury's rejection of insanity defense

October 7, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with a jury in rejecting a man’s insanity plea, holding that even when crimes seem horrific and senseless, that does not mean the perpetrator is legally insane.
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Appellate judges will hear arguments in East Chicago

October 4, 2011
IL Staff
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges will travel to northern Indiana Thursday to hear the appeal of a man convicted of attempted murder.
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COA: woman not denied right to confrontation

September 26, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
In a woman’s appeal of her prostitution conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the right to confront witnesses and its interrelationship with hearsay evidence.
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Supreme Court upholds Barnes ruling

September 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Emphasizing that it’s not trampling on the Fourth Amendment, the Indiana Supreme Court has revisited a ruling it made four months ago and upheld its holding that residents don’t have a common law right to resist police entering a person’s home.
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Man's conviction hinges on 'induce' definition

September 20, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals had to determine how to interpret the term “induce” related to a man’s contributing to the delinquency of a minor case and upheld his conviction based on the term’s dictionary definition.
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Judges uphold involuntary commitment

September 19, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
When a defendant has been previously committed to a state institution because he was found incompetent to stand trial, that state institution may be considered a community mental health center for purposes of a report required under Indiana Code 12-26-7-3(b), the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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Appeals court sets arguments in Camm case

September 12, 2011
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has schedule oral arguments in the case of the former Indiana State Police trooper accused of killing his wife and children in 2000.
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Appeals court sides with murder defendant in hearsay appeal

August 30, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
Citing hearsay rules, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court’s finding that the state may not introduce into evidence statements that could implicate a man who is facing murder charges.
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COA orders reduced sentence in first impressions case

August 26, 2011
Jenny Montgomery
In reversing a sentence for a serious violent felon, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that intending to commit a “crime of violence” is not, in itself, a crime of violence
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Man not prejudiced by counsel's deficient performance

August 23, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the decision to deny a man’s request for post-conviction relief, finding that although his attorney’s performance was deficient for not investigating whether a previous conviction attributed to the defendant was really his, the man couldn’t show he was prejudiced.
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Public to testify before Barnes subcommittee

August 23, 2011
IL Staff
The subcommittee formed to address the issue of illegal police entry following an Indiana Supreme Court ruling will hear public testimony and discuss draft language at its Wednesday meeting.
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Court divided over consent to 5-person jury

August 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges split on the issue of whether a defendant agreed to allow a five-member jury to decide her case after one juror fell ill, with the dissenting judge believing the defendant – not her counsel – must consent to the five-person jury.
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Victim's statements to nurse allowed, but judges reverse convictions

August 22, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a victim’s statements detailing her physical attack and identifying her attacker were admissible in court and were nontestimonial, so the defendant’s confrontation rights weren’t violated. However, the judges reversed the man’s convictions because the trial court shouldn’t have admitted prior misconduct evidence involving the defendant and the victim.
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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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