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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. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  2. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  3. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  4. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  5. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

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