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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. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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