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Seizure of guns upheld for ‘dangerous’ man who stalked Spierer site

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A man who behaved erratically, told far-fetched stories of seeing missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer, and scoped out the place she was last seen alarmed Bloomington police enough that authorities took from him and his Indianapolis home 51 guns and ammunition.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the seizure in a 48-page opinion addressing a matter of first impression: Who may be considered dangerous enough under state law to have weapons taken from them without being criminally charged. Three judges wrote three opinions, but the majority affirmed the taking of Robert Redington’s weapons in Robert E. Redington v. State of Indiana, 53A01-1210-CR-461.

Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the majority that evidence of probative value exists from which Monroe Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Diekhoff could have determined by clear and convincing evidence that Redington was dangerous as defined by I.C. § 35-47-14-1(a)(2)(B), and accordingly it was within her discretion to order the Bloomington Police Department to retain Redington’s firearms pursuant to Ind. Code § 35-47-14-6(b).
 
Brown’s opinion, joined by a concurring opinion from Judge Cale Bradford, opens with eight pages outlining a recitation of Redington’s actions and statements that alarmed authorities. Among them, he drove frequently from Indianapolis to Bloomington, where police found him in a parking garage across the street from Kilroy’s Sports Bar looking at the place Spierer was last seen through a range-finder. He then chatted with police about their propensity with firearms from such distances.

Redington later told authorities he saw spirits, that he’d met Spierer years earlier at a gun range, and that he was investigating her disappearance. Detectives believed he was delusional and took him to IU Health Center in Bloomington. A doctor said Redington suffered from ‘a type of personality disorder called schizotypal,’ and perhaps a paranoid or delusional disorder.

Redington also had been removed multiple times from Kilroy’s, and the record also shows he’d been asked to leave various churches he attended.

During his psychiatric evaluation, officers seized the firearms from his home, and his license to carry a handgun was suspended.

"This case appears to be an issue of first impression, and, as recent events nationwide have demonstrated, poses a question of great public interest," Brown wrote.

“We find that Redington continuing to own firearms threatens to inflict ‘particularized harm’ analogous to tortious injury on readily identifiable private interests.”

Bradford concurred in all respects. “However, I write simply to reiterate that while I have the utmost respect for the constitutionally protected right to bear arms, in the instant matter, I believe that the State met its burden of proving that Redington was ‘dangerous’ as defined by Indiana Code section 35-47-14-1,” he wrote. He noted Redington’s delusional thought patterns that continued despite his taking anti-psychotic medication.

In dissent, Judge Patricia Riley wrote that the state failed to meet its burden under the code that a person is dangerous if he “presents an imminent risk of personal injury” to himself or another. She noted that the psychologist who examined Redington after his involuntary commitment testified that he was released when it was determined he didn’t pose an imminent danger.

“The State provided no further probative evidence establishing otherwise,” Riley wrote. “I would therefore reverse the trial court.”  

     
 

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  1. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  2. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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