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Opinions June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Michael Lee Mokol Jr.
10-2334
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms two convictions of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The District Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting bad acts testimony through Lori Miller’s testimony as to Mokol’s statement that he would put anyone who told on him “in the ground;” or in admitting bad acts evidence involving his daughter’s testimony about the gun “prank” in the Rising Sun parking lot. The District Court did not err in restricting cross-examination of his daughter and the District Court didn’t abuse its discretion by instructing the jury as to constructive possession.

Indiana Supreme Court
D.M. v. State of Indiana
49S02-1101-JV-11
Juvenile. Affirms admission of D.M.’s confession in a delinquency proceeding, in which D.M. claims he wasn’t afforded an opportunity for meaningful consultation with his mother and the waiver of his rights wasn’t knowing and voluntary. There was substantial evidence of probative value to support the decision to admit the confession. Also concludes the juvenile waiver form used by police in this case should be clarified.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Jerrme Cartwright v. State of Indiana
82A01-1005-CR-214
Criminal. Reverses Cartwright’s convictions of two counts of Class C felony attempted battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of Class B felony attempted aggravated battery, and one count of Class B felony possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon because the state’s proffered explanations for striking the only African-American juror from the jury panel were pretextual and the result of purposeful discrimination. Remands for a new trial. There is sufficient evidence to retry him on the attempted battery with a deadly weapon convictions. Judge Vaidik dissents.

Perry O. Jones v. State of Indiana (NFP)

34A02-1010-CR-1104
Criminal. Affirms calculation of pretrial and credit time.

Carl Andre Coleman v. State of Indiana (NFP)
20A05-1008-CR-553
Criminal. Grants petition for rehearing and remands with instructions that the trial court reinstate Coleman’s conviction of attempted rape and for sentencing on that offense. Affirms in all other respects.

Latoyia Tuggles v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1012-CR-1366
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class C felony forgery and Class D felony theft.

D.H. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
49A02-1010-JV-1257
Juvenile. Dismisses appeal of order requiring D.H. to pay restitution.

Zachard D.A. Edwards v. State of Indiana (NFP)
48A02-1010-CR-1222
Criminal. Affirms order revoking home detention and probation.

Commitment of A.R. (NFP)
49A05-1011-MH-665
Mental health. Affirms order for temporary involuntary commitment.

Arden Balmer, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
71A05-1007-CR-570
Criminal. Affirms convictions of and sentence for felony murder and Class B felony criminal confinement.

Pete Burgmeier v. Robert Akin (NFP)
36A01-1009-SC-480
Small claim. Affirms award of $2,348.09 to Akin and denial of Burgmeier’s counterclaim seeking $5,020 in damages.

David B. Tyra v. State of Indiana (NFP)
05A04-1012-CR-762
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life.

Todd A. Harmon v. State of Indiana (NFP)
03A01-1011-CR-630
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Michael O. Branch v. State of Indiana (NFP)
84A01-1008-CR-458
Criminal. Affirms conviction of and sentence for Class D felony operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator.

Indiana Tax Court had posted no opinions at IL deadline.

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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