ILNews

Pre-trial ID of attacker allowed at trial

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The trial court didn’t err in allowing a victim’s pre-trial identification of his attacker, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in a matter of first impression.

Anthony Neukam attacked his former girlfriend’s new boyfriend, Carlos Aquino, putting Aquino in the hospital. The two have never met but Aquino recognized Neukam from photos in the girlfriend’s home and on the girlfriend’s MySpace page. Aquino told police it was Neukam who attacked him. Police got a print of Neukam’s photo from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and showed the photo to Aquino; he confirmed that was the man who attacked him.

Before his trial for battery and criminal mischief started, Neukam filed a motion to suppress the out-of-court identification, which the trial court denied. He was convicted of both charges.

In Anthony E. Neukam v. State of Indiana, No. 16A01-1002-CR-50, Neukam argues the identification process was unduly suggestive because the police officer showed Aquino only one photo that had Neukam’s name on it. Even though he failed to object at trial to the identification evidence and waived his claim on appeal, the Court of Appeals addressed it and found he wouldn’t have prevailed.

Aquino wasn’t identifying an unknown assailant and told police who his attacker was right after he was attacked. Only after Aquino said who his attacker was did police show him Neukam’s photo, wrote Judge Paul Mathias.

There isn’t any other Indiana case on this point, but using a case out of Kansas, State v. Franklin, 121 P.3d 447, 453 (Kan. 2005), they found the identification evidence to be properly admitted.

“The police showed Aquino Neukam’s BMV photograph, not so that Aquino could identify an unknown assailant, but simply to confirm that the Anthony Neukam Aquino identified was the same person as the defendant. Under these circumstances, we cannot say that this identification was impermissibly suggestive,” wrote the judge.

The appellate court also found sufficient evidence to support Neukam’s convictions.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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