Felony

Indiana lawmakers to consider DNA testing felony arrestees

August 19, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indiana legislative study panel heard testimony from a national advocate for DNA sampling who is urging them to expand testing to any person arrested for a felony.
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Interim committees schedule hearings on hot-button issues

August 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana legislators are preparing to examine a proposal that would permit the collection of DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony in the state.
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In 3-2 decision, justices reinstate molestation conviction

July 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
A 3-2 decision of the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated a Class A felony child molestation conviction that the Court of Appeals reversed because the defendant was denied opportunities to admit evidence.
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Habitual offender changes not retroactive, COA holds

June 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
In affirming an Indianapolis man's conviction of aggravated battery and a habitual offender adjudication, the Indiana Court of Appeals also held that revisions to the state's habitual offender statute enacted a year ago are not retroactive.
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‘Rushing’ door sufficient for burglary conviction

June 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who rushed the door of an apartment where a co-conspirator had arranged a drug buy was rightly convicted of Class A felony burglary resulting in serious bodily injury, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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Judges deny sentence modifications, but for different reasons

June 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Thursday that neither of two men who petitioned in late 2013 to have their 1997 sentences modified are entitled to a modification, but the judges' reasoning for the denials differed.
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Judicial candidate serving as juror was not fundamental error

June 9, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of child molesting argued that an attorney and judicial candidate should not have been allowed to serve as a juror on his trial. But he failed to object to her placement on the jury at the time of the trial, and the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected his claim of fundamental error.
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Man’s Indiana conviction for stealing car barred by Kentucky conviction

June 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man who stole a car in Vanderburgh County, fled into Kentucky and then was arrested and charged with similar crimes of auto theft and fleeing police in both states had his Indiana auto theft conviction reversed by the Court of Appeals Thursday.
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Justices affirm stabbing conviction in evidence appeal

June 2, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Anderson man convicted of stabbing his son-in-law lost his appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday. The man claimed the trial court wrongly excluded evidence that the victim told others that he had struck the man with a two-by-four piece of lumber before the knife attack.
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Justices reject Arizona no-bail law; OK immunity in prison suicide

June 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday rejected an Arizona county’s attempt to reinstate a state law that denies bail to people in the country illegally who are charged with certain crimes.
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No abuse in giving jury instruction, but COA still reverses 1 conviction

May 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it gave a jury instruction during an invasion of privacy trial, the Court of Appeals ruled, but the appeals court sua sponte did reverse one of two convictions because of double jeopardy.
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Drug conviction reversed because state didn’t prove substance was heroin

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because police did not prove the product of a controlled drug buy was heroin, the Court of Appeals reversed a man's conviction of Class A felony dealing in a narcotic within 1,000 feet of a school.
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State proved man forced his way into apartment, COA holds

May 26, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of three crimes stemming from the robbery of an apartment could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he did not force his way into the apartment because someone inside opened the door first.
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Justices acquit two involved in fistfight turned fatal

May 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis teen and another man convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for their roles in a planned beatdown that ended with a fatal gunshot will be freed after the Indiana Supreme Court reversed their convictions and ordered them acquitted.
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Convictions upheld for man who battered girlfriend, relative at family reunion

May 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found that the victim of a battery at a family reunion was related to the perpetrator under Indiana statute, so the defendant’s Level 6 felony battery conviction was affirmed Thursday.
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Auto theft conviction of man who did not return rental car upheld

May 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Porter County man convicted of auto theft argued that his failure to return a rental car was a civil case and misunderstanding with the rental company, but the Court of Appeals upheld his Class D felony conviction.
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Court OKs admission of tweets, reverses criminal gang activity conviction

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a case of first impression regarding the authentication of social media posts, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that the testimony from the defendant's girlfriend that the Twitter account belonged to her boyfriend, as well as content from that account, sufficiently showed the defendant was the author of its tweets.
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Man’s conviction from controlled drug buy upheld

April 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Anderson man who was criminally convicted for selling drugs to a confidential informant waived both his arguments on appeal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. And, the judges found no fundamental error in a jury instruction given or the admission of cash found on the defendant by police.
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Indiana Supreme Court hears disputed adoption of 2 boys

March 17, 2015
 Associated Press
An attorney for a woman who's challenging her two grandsons' adoption by their maternal grandmother told the Indiana Supreme Court on Monday that their adoptions should never have happened because the other woman's felony conviction disqualifies her from being an adoptive parent.
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Judge incorrectly considered acquitted charges in denying expungement petition

March 16, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Facts from an incident that do not result in a felony conviction cannot be taken into consideration by a judge when determining a person is disqualified from filing for mandatory expungement of a different felony conviction resulting from the same incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.
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'Elkhart Four' convictions put new spotlight on felony murder statute

March 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Three teens convicted of felony murder have asked the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn their convictions because they did not directly kill the victim.
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Conviction, sentence affirmed for man who fatally shot cousin

January 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
The reckless homicide conviction and 12-year sentence given to an Indianapolis man who shot and killed his cousin as the two struggled for control of a revolver was affirmed Friday.
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Court upholds serious violent felon finding, despite not using term ‘SVF’

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a man’s claim that because a stipulation to being a serious violent felon did not use the term “serious violent felon,” the state didn’t establish that as his status.
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Non life-threatening injury gets aggravated battery conviction reversed

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A defendant who shot at a car with a semiautomatic rifle, causing a bullet to graze the driver, did not commit Class B felony aggravated battery because the injury inflicted upon the victim did not create a substantial risk of death.
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Counties worry about cost of criminal code changes

July 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Sweeping changes to Indiana's criminal code took effect Tuesday that will send more low-level, nonviolent criminals to community corrections programs and jails instead of state prisons, causing concern by some about the financial burden it will put on counties.
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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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