ILNews

Man did not validly waive right to jury trial

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Vanderburgh County man’s misdemeanor convictions of battery and public intoxication, finding he did not waive his right to a jury trial.

At a November 2011 hearing, Vanderburgh Magistrate Judge Sheila Corcoran advised Reko Levels that he had a right to a trial by court or by jury. Levels told the magistrate later in the hearing he wanted a jury trial “ten days ahead of time.”

A bench trial was conducted, at which Levels was convicted of the Class B misdemeanors battery and public intoxication.

The trial court failed to adequately advise Levels of the consequences of failing to demand a jury trial, Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote. The court didn’t mention the necessity of making such a request no later than 10 days before the scheduled trial date and never disclosed that the failure to make the request would waive Levels’ right to a jury trial. There’s also no indication that Levels knew his demand had to be in writing.

The COA rejected the state’s argument that the advisement was unnecessary because Levels had mentioned he wanted a jury trial 10 days ahead of time. Levels’ reference doesn’t reveal that he knew the request had to be in writing or even what the 10 days had to be ahead of, Bailey wrote in a footnote.

 

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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