evidence

7th Circuit upholds convictions in attempted post office robbery

January 20, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A videotaped interview brought to light mid-trial and the suppressed personnel record of a detective did not constitute violations under Brady v. Maryland, warranting a new trial for a man convicted of aiding and abetting firearm use during the attempted robbery of a Fort Wayne post office in 2012.
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Justices find victim’s statements regarding altercation fall under hearsay exception

January 15, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The admission of testimony regarding a murder victim’s recount of his previous altercation with the man convicted in his murder were properly allowed as hearsay statements under Indiana Evidence Rule 804(b)(3), the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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COA re-enters molestation conviction, rejects evidence challenge

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court erred in vacating one of two convictions of Class A felony child molesting at a Dearborn County man’s sentencing, the Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The panel also rejected the offender’s claim evidence should not have been admitted.
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DNA evidence properly excluded in rape trial

December 4, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court was correct in not allowing evidence in a rape trial that DNA of an unknown male was collected from the victim two days after the incident, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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COA: Jury properly rejected defendant’s insanity defense

November 5, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Because there was evidence that a defendant’s mental state at the time he stabbed his estranged wife was due to voluntary intoxication, the jury properly rejected his insanity defense, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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Judge: Private Facebook messages fair game at arson trial

October 27, 2015
 Associated Press
A judge has declined to prevent private Facebook messages from being considered as evidence at the trial of two people charged in an Evansville marina fire.
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Detective’s testimony on drug buy inadmissible, but harmless error

October 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled the admission of a detective’s statement regarding a controlled drug buy should not have been admitted because it resolved the issue of the defendant’s guilt, but that admission into evidence was a harmless error.
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Boilerplate language can’t support warrant for blood draw

October 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a woman’s motion to suppress a blood sample taken after a police officer suspected her of drunken driving. The judges found the affidavit did not contain specific information alleging the woman drove a vehicle.
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New prosecutor renders defendant’s request moot

September 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant’s request to disqualify the entire LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office from his voluntary manslaughter case because several in the office viewed his conversation with his attorney recorded during a police interrogation is moot because there is a new prosecutor in office, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Court: Man participated in meth manufacturing

September 30, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man’s conviction in Whitley County for dealing in methamphetamine by manufacturing was upheld by the Court of Appeals Wednesday. There is evidence that the man knowingly or intentionally aided an acquaintance in making methamphetamine in the home the defendant shared with his girlfriend.
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Shoddy documents draws COA ire

September 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
After appearing to shrug off the need to authenticate documents, a company claiming to own the appellant’s credit card debt got a lesson in Indiana court rules and precedence.
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Admitting evidence of ‘signature’ crime was harmless error

August 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed the conviction of a man who broke into a woman’s home, severely beat her and attempted to rape her. Evidence that the man looked into the window of another woman in the neighborhood 57 days later should not have been admitted at his trial, but the error was harmless in light of DNA evidence connecting the man to the crime.
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DNA proposal highlights worries over privacy

August 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Sen. Tim Lanane and his colleagues in the Indiana Statehouse are once again wrestling with when to collect genetic material from individuals in the criminal justice system.
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Indiana team that raided Fogle's home used mobile laboratory

August 24, 2015
 Associated Press
When they arrived at Jared Fogle’s home last month, law enforcement officials were armed with more than a search warrant.
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Court of Appeals affirms man’s domestic battery conviction

August 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
Evidence from a forensic nurse was not improperly admitted in the trial of a man who was convicted of felony domestic battery against his girlfriend of 20 years.
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TV’s ‘Shift’ suspect got shaft, but rights weren’t violated

August 18, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who was wrongly arrested and charged with murder by Indianapolis police whose investigation was being documented for the reality TV series “The Shift” lost his appeal in a civil rights lawsuit against police.
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Technology erases need for ‘ancient document’ rule

August 14, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A longstanding yet rarely invoked federal rule of evidence allowed the admission of an “ancient document” if it was more than 20 years old and appeared to be authentic. However, in an age when decades-old information is easily accessible electronically, a review committee has concluded the exception could be abused.
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7th Circuit divided over appeal from death row inmate

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A split 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an inmate on Indiana’s death row a chance for a new trial, finding the exclusion of a witness’s videotaped interview which could have possibly exonerated him was inadmissible as hearsay.
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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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Judge’s description not impermissible judicial testimony

August 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Marion County judge who described the testimony to jurors as “heartfelt” did not overstep the prohibition against the judiciary acting as a witness.
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Victim’s statements were dying declaration, COA rules

July 31, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected the argument that the victim, who was shot multiple times and eventually did die, could not have made a dying declaration because paramedics repeatedly told him he would live.
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Justices affirm molestation conviction despite vouching testimony

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man’s conviction of Class C felony child molestation was affirmed Thursday by the Indiana Supreme Court, which held that even though improper vouching testimony was admitted in error, the defendant failed to preserve the issue for appeal.
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Trial court erred in ruling defendant waived counsel

July 30, 2015
Dave Stafford

A defendant who pleaded with a judge to try to obtain possibly exculpatory video evidence he said his public defender refused to seek did not, by his conduct, waive his right to counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Thursday.

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Unsupported search warrant voids drug conviction

July 24, 2015
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Friday threw out a man’s cocaine dealing conviction, holding that a search warrant that led to charges against him should not have been issued.
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Trial court had discretion in allowing hearsay statements into evidence

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A trial court, which excused two young girls from testifying against their abuser at trial and instead allowed their prior statements to be admitted into evidence, did not abuse its discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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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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