Criminal case

Justices divided on firearm 'use' sentencing

December 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A divided Indiana Supreme Court has held that state statute dictates that the use of a firearm can be the grounds for a sentence enhancement that doesn’t constitute a double jeopardy violation.
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Justices: sentence shouldn't have been upped on appeal

December 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered that a man’s sentence be reduced after the lower appellate court increased it on appeal.
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COA divided on dismissal of OWI charges

December 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split on whether a defendant’s operating while intoxicated charges should have been dismissed because the charging information didn’t let the man know what vehicle he needed to defend against operating.
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Justices split on imprisonment for violating probation

December 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state must prove a probationer accused of violating a term involving a payment by not paying did it recklessly, knowingly or intentionally. The burden is on the probationer to show an inability to pay, the Indiana Supreme Court decided in an opinion handed down Wednesday afternoon.
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Appellate court to hear arguments in Fishers

December 9, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals hits the road Friday to visit Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers for oral arguments in an interlocutory appeal involving the denial of a motion to suppress.
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7th Circuit: judge erred when sentencing man

December 2, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered an Indiana District Court to take another look at a man’s sentence because the judge cited incorrect information during sentencing.
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Judges: Officers lacked reasonable suspicion to stop and detain man

December 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s detention following a traffic stop wasn’t supported by reasonable suspicion, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his drug conviction today.
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Rule inapplicable as witness’s credibility not attacked

December 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a trial court didn’t err by not letting a defendant introduce evidence of his brother’s prior robbery because the defendant wasn’t attacking the brother’s credibility.
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Mendenhall gets 40 years for attack

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Augustus Mendenhall, the attorney who attacked an Indiana state representative last year, received a 40-year sentence today from a Hamilton County judge.
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Judges uphold OWI conviction

November 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today that even though a statute uses the word “and” when saying a driver’s actions, thoughts, and normal control of faculties must be impaired, the state isn’t required to prove all three were impaired in order to get a conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
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7th Circuit: Drug convictions stand

November 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed drug convictions against two defendants, holding the lower court didn’t err in admitting a police officer’s voice identification testimony regarding one of the defendants.
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Judges remand securities fraud case on statute-of-limitation issue

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to reconsider whether it should discharge certain charges of securities fraud because the charges fall outside the statute of limitation.
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Dismissal of delinquency petition doesn’t endanger public

November 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A juvenile court didn’t err in dismissing a delinquency petition against a teen who was found to be incompetent to stand trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today. The judges also found dismissing the petition did not unduly endanger the public.
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No error in refusal to tender 'missing witness' instruction

November 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s drug convictions, finding the District Court didn’t err by refusing to give the jury a requested “missing witness” instruction.
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COA: State could charge man for leaving scene of fatal accident

November 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction for failing to return to the scene of a fatal accident, finding the state wasn’t barred under collateral estoppel principles from prosecuting him for the same crime as another man who had already been convicted of causing the victim’s death.
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Court divided on invasion of privacy charge

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today as to whether a woman who had an order for protection against her should have been convicted of invasion of privacy when she spoke to the protected party during a court hearing.
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Ticket can't constitute 'testimonial hearsay'

November 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Because a chemical breath-test evidence ticket is a mechanically produced readout that can’t be considered “testimonial hearsay” under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a man’s Sixth Amendment rights weren’t violated when the equipment technician didn’t testify at his drunk-driving trial.
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COA upholds denial of post-conviction relief

November 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with the post-conviction court that a defendant didn’t receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel, finding the man had no right to the effective assistance of counsel at the time he gave a statement to police in front of the attorney.
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COA finds voyeurism statute not vague

October 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state’s voyeurism statute is not unconstitutionally vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today by rejecting a man’s claims that the statute would prevent taping a surprise birthday party.
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Court splits on public intoxication conviction

October 21, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals split today on whether a woman’s conviction of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication should be reversed because she wasn’t in a public place within the meaning of Indiana Code at the time police stopped her car.
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SCOTUS declines Indiana death penalty case

October 18, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court won’t re-consider a ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court late last year that upheld a man’s death sentence and revised its stance on what it means when a jury fails to recommend a unanimous sentence.
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Court reverses indeterminate commitment of juvenile

October 14, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed the interplay between sections 6 and 10 of Indiana Code 31-37-19 governing juvenile commitment for the first time today. The judges noted when they are applied separately the sections produce opposite results regarding the purpose of the statutes.   
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7th Circuit orders lower court to consider a minor participant reduction

October 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a man’s lengthy sentence for transporting drug money because the District Court needs to determine whether the man should receive a minor participant reduction since he only transported money one time.
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Court: stipulation can be in preliminary jury instructions

October 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Even though a defendant waived his argument for appeal that a stipulation may not be placed before a jury via preliminary jury instructions, the Indiana Court of Appeals held the opposite today in a case involving a conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
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SCOTUS rejects two Indiana cases

October 12, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to get involved in two appeals out of Indiana, upholding federal or state rulings on both cases.
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  1. 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.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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