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Resisting law enforcement conviction reduced due to double jeopardy violation

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A post-conviction court “clearly erred” when it found a man’s trial attorney did not provide ineffective assistance of counsel, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The judges ordered the court to reduce Timmy Zieman’s Class C felony resisting law enforcement conviction to a Class D felony because of a violation of double jeopardy principles.

Zieman fled from police after an argument with his wife and crashed his car into Crown Point Sergeant John Allendorf Jr.’s car, which caused the officer serious bodily injury. Zieman was charged with several counts as a result of the incident, including attempted murder and Class C felony resisting law enforcement resulting in serious bodily injury. He was found guilty but mentally ill.

In his petition for post-conviction relief, Zieman argued his trial and appellate counsel were ineffective because neither challenged his attempted murder conviction and the serious bodily injury element that elevated his resisting law enforcement conviction on double jeopardy grounds. The PCR court denied his petition.

In Timmy T. Zieman v. State of Indiana, 45A03-1301-PC-1, the judges found that the statutory elements test or actual evidence test under Richardson v. State, 717 N.E.2d 32, 49-50 (Ind. 1999), weren’t violated in Zieman’s case. The COA also used common law not governed by the constitutional test set forth in Richardson to evaluate Zieman’s claim. These rules were first enumerated by Justice Frank Sullivan in his concurring opinion in Richardson, one of which prohibits conviction and punishment for an enhancement of a crime where the enhancement is imposed for the same behavior or harm as another crime for which the defendant has been convicted and punished.

“Based on the prosecutor’s arguments to the jury and the lack of specificity in the charging information and jury instructions, we conclude that there is a reasonable possibility that the jury used the evidence of Zieman crashing his vehicle into Sergeant Allendorf’s vehicle and injuring him to establish both the substantial step element of attempted murder and the resulting serious bodily injury element of class C felony resisting law enforcement, resulting in a violation of double jeopardy principles,” Judge Terry Crone wrote.

The appellate court ordered that the Class C felony resisting law enforcement conviction be reduced to a Class D felony and that the sentence imposed is the advisory 18 months. It will be served consecutively to Zieman’s attempted murder sentence, for a total executed sentence of 33 ½ years.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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