Criminal case

Court affirms, denies challenge to DNA evidence, new mid-trial witness

October 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
The Court of Appeals today affirmed a man’s convictions and sentence for felony robbery despite his challenge to whether the trial court properly admitted DNA evidence and allowed the testimony of a witness discovered mid-trial.
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COA affirms murder conviction, sentence of 14-year-old

October 5, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
When asked whether the conviction of and sentence for felony murder were appropriate findings for a 14-year-old offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals today affirmed the Marion Superior Court’s decision.
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COA: Traffic stop allowed in private parking lot

October 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of man’s motion to suppress, finding Indiana Code doesn’t bar law enforcement from investigating violations in private parking lots even if there isn’t a contractual agreement with the property owner to allow officers to enforce traffic ordinances.
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Majority: warrantless car search OK under automobile exception

October 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Fourth Amendment doesn’t prohibit a warrantless search of an operational car found in a public place if police have probable cause to believe the car contains evidence of a crime, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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Pre-trial ID of attacker allowed at trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The trial court didn’t err in allowing a victim’s pre-trial identification of his attacker, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in a matter of first impression.
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First impression case on mouthpieces as 'foreign substance'

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In a matter of first impression, a portable breath test mouthpiece isn’t a foreign substance that will act to invalidate the results of a blood alcohol content Datamaster chemical breath test, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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High court orders new murder trial

September 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned a Fulton County man’s murder sentence because a detective continued with the interview even after the man invoked his right to counsel several times.
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Supreme Court affirms sexually violent predator status

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s challenge to the finding that he is a sexually violent predator failed because the invited error doctrine precludes consideration of his claims on appeal, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled today.
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Justices remand to see if defendant had accurate interpreting

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the post-conviction court to hold a new hearing for a Mexican man who claimed he didn’t mean to plead guilty to two felonies and did so only because of faulty interpreting in court.
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Majority orders new requirement for pro se defendants with little guidance

September 29, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Three Indiana Supreme Court justices created a new requirement as an exercise of supervisory powers when it comes to informing future defendants about the dangers of proceeding pro se, leaving two justices to dissent because the new requirement provides no guidance as to what trial courts must do or say.
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Court reaffirms 3-step test for in camera review

September 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals doesn’t believe that its previous ruling regarding the in camera review of an organization’s documents relating to alleged molestation victims sends the message that it’s “open season” on the records of victim services providers.
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Appellate court vacates murder, dealing convictions

September 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals vacated convictions of felony murder and dealing in a controlled substance because the state didn’t prove the man was involved in the dealing of ecstasy.
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COA: Hearsay evidence properly admitted

September 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the admission of hearsay evidence of a woman’s testimony to an officer that her boyfriend hit her because the evidence was admissible under the excited utterance exception.
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Supreme Court takes 4 cases

September 21, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four cases Sept. 17, including one involving translated transcripts presented to a jury in a drug case.
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Justices take 3 cases

September 13, 2010
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer of three cases last week, including a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals lengthened a man’s sentence.
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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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  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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