Weapons

Justices: Jury should hear defense of necessity instruction

November 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a man convicted of a misdemeanor gun charge after finding he presented sufficient evidence to have the jury instructed on his defense of necessity.
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Trial court erred in ordering harassing neighbor’s firearms seized

October 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in ordering firearms seized and in placing other restrictions on a man the court properly determined had committed stalking against his neighbor, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Man charged after shooting outside federal courthouse

October 12, 2015
IL Staff
A man who is accused of firing a handgun in front of the Birch Bayh Federal Courthouse in Indianapolis has been charged with firearm and drug offenses.  
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Man sentenced for buying guns in Indiana, selling in Chicago

October 2, 2015
 Associated Press
A Chicago man convicted of helping to buy more than 40 guns in Indiana and then transporting them for sale on the streets of Chicago has been sentenced to just over three years in prison.
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Teenager loses privacy argument with mom

September 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A common argument from teenagers that mom has no right to search their rooms created a case of first impression for the Indiana Court of Appeals. And the appellate court affirmed with the common response that in mom’s house, mom has access.
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Incomplete continuity slip gets conviction vacated

July 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Fort Wayne man’s argument that his defense strategy was upended when the government waited until mid-trial to produce a complete chain of custody document convinced the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn his conviction
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ITCA does not apply to lawsuit challenging local firearm law

June 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Evansville man suing the city for enforcing a local law prohibiting firearms in public parks is not effectively bringing a tort claim, as the city argued in its motion on the pleadings. The Court of Appeals affirmed denial of the city’s motion, finding the claim is being brought pursuant to I.C. 35-47-11.1-5, which creates a private right of action for individuals to enforce that statute’s provisions.
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Teen’s arrest did not violate 4th Amendment

June 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a teen’s adjudication for carrying a handgun handed down after police arrested the occupants of the car he was riding in after smelling burnt marijuana during a traffic stop. The judges unanimously held the officers had probable cause to arrest the car’s occupants, including the teen.
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State failed to show defendant conspired to rob gas station

June 17, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery while armed with a deadly weapon because the state did not present evidence that the defendant and another man conspired ahead of time to rob a Lawrenceburg gas station.
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Magistrate chides ‘bloated filings’ in long-running gun dispute

May 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A federal magistrate judge in a protracted trademark dispute over the design of competing firearms took aim Tuesday at lawyers he said were slowing the case.
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SCOTUS: Convicted felons can sell their guns

May 18, 2015
 Associated Press
A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that the government can’t prevent a convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms from trying to sell his guns after they are confiscated by authorities.
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Handgun properly admitted at juvenile’s hearing

April 23, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A handgun discarded by a teen after seeing a marked police car – and later picked up by the officer who saw the teen throw the gun into a yard – was properly admitted at his delinquency hearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Court reverses convictions from robbery due to double jeopardy concerns

April 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Three of a man’s eight convictions stemming from his robbery of acquaintances were reversed or reduced because  the convictions or elevated classes were based on the same elements of the crime, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.
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7th Circuit: No plain error in not applying 'safety valve' in sentencing

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Whether firearms belonging to co-conspirators in a drug ring attributed to a defendant for purposes of the firearm sentence enhancement can be considered for a two-level reduction in her offense level under the so-called “safety valve” for nonviolent, first-time drug offenders is a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the judges declined to address the issue because the woman failed to raise it at sentencing.
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Justices hear textbook case of errors in evidence

March 25, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who stabbed his son-in-law and was convicted of battery with a deadly weapon argues trial court errors prevented him from presenting evidence that he acted in self-defense. The appellant claims the victim was the first to strike, whacking him with a 2-by-4 piece of lumber.
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Man’s right to speedy trial not violated, 7th Circuit says

March 13, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The speedy-trial clock did not begin to run upon the federal government’s filing of a complaint and detainer against an Indiana man, so the 16-month delay in filing the federal indictment did not violate his right to a speedy trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday.
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Teen’s adjudications overturned based on unlawful search

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
An Indianapolis teenager suspected in two burglaries was subject to an unlawful pat down and search by an officer, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. As such, the gun found on him should not have been admissible at his delinquency hearing.
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Couple’s gun collection incorrectly classified as ‘household goods’

March 11, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The determination as to whether guns or a gun collection are “household goods” should be made on a case-by-case basis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. In a case before it Wednesday, the judges held that the large collection owned by a couple who are since deceased was incorrectly classified as “household goods.”
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Juvenile’s delinquent adjudication reversed based on illegal search

January 28, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because the physical evidence used to adjudicate a teen as delinquent was the direct result of an illegal search of his backpack by police, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed.
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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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7th Circuit upholds use of GPS unit on car in 2011

January 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a defendant’s claim that his motion to suppress drugs and guns found by police at a storage locker through the use of a GPS unit should have been granted because attaching the device to his car for purposes of gathering information was a search under the Fourth Amendment.
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First impression: Suspect’s recorded talk in police car admissible

January 6, 2015
Dave Stafford
What a South Bend man said to another suspect while they were alone in the back of a police cruiser was recorded by an in-car video camera and properly presented to a federal jury, a panel of judges decided in a matter of first impression for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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Judges reverse 2 convictions based on double jeopardy violations

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the state relied on the same evidence to convict a man of three charges after he fired a gun at police while fleeing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one of those convictions vacated and the other reduced.
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COA affirms convictions despite erroneously admitted testimony

December 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a man’s convictions, including forgery and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, after finding the errors by the trial court in admitting certain testimony were harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Justices find detective’s inadmissible hearsay is harmless error

December 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reinstated a man’s conviction of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm after finding that a detective’s inadmissible hearsay amounts to a harmless error.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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