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Single larceny rule doesn't apply in case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of a man's petition for post-conviction relief, finding the defendant's trial counsel wasn't ineffective for arguing a single larceny rule defense because it wasn't applicable in this case.

In Lucius Walker v. State of Indiana, No. 02A03-0809-PC-452, Lucius Walker argued his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to argue his Class A felony robbery and Class B felony robbery convictions violated the single larceny rule. Walker and another man entered a gas station with a Wendy's restaurant inside and Walker robbed the Wendy's at the same time the other man robbed the gas station. Walker was convicted and sentenced to an aggregate 65-year sentence.

In his petition for post-conviction relief, Walker argues his trial counsel should have raised the single larceny rule because the gas station and the Wendy's were owned by the same corporation. The post-conviction court denied his petition.

The appellate court disagreed with his argument that because he and his accomplice robbed the gas station and Wendy's at the same time and the money belonged to the same corporation, only one robbery occurred. Walker relied on Williams v. State, 395 N.E.2d 239, 248 (Ind. 1979), and Lane v. State, 428 N.E.2d 28, 29 (Ind. 1981), but those cases dealt with the robbery of multiple tellers within a bank.

Walker and his accomplice didn't take money from the same place and the fact that both businesses are owned by the same corporation is unavailing, wrote Judge Paul Mathias. In fact, under Walker's interpretation of the single larceny rule, if two people agree to rob at the same time two separate restaurants owned by the same company, the individuals would only be guilty of one robbery.

The single larceny rule is inapplicable under the facts of this case and Walker's trial counsel wouldn't have succeeded in arguing Walker and his accomplice only committed one robbery, the judge wrote. Walker didn't establish his trial counsel was ineffective and the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief is affirmed.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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