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State not trying to circumvent adverse ruling in refiling charges

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s felony cocaine dealing conviction, finding the state, when originally dismissing charges and then later refiling them, was not trying to avoid an adverse ruling that barred testimony of a confidential informant.

Dwight Cobbs was convicted of Class B felony dealing in cocaine following a controlled drug buy with a confidential informant in an Indianapolis Kroger supermarket. The state originally filed charges in court, at which the judge granted Cobbs’ motion to exclude the confidential informant’s testimony. The state later moved to dismiss the charges and refile because the police officer who stopped Cobbs after the controlled buy was out of state.

The refiled charges came before a different trial judge, who ruled that the informant’s testimony can be included at trial as well as audio/video recordings of the controlled buy.

Cobbs argued in Dwight L. Cobbs v. State of Indiana, 49A05-1207-CR-380, that Davenport v. State, 689 N.E.2d 1226 (Ind. 1997), and Johnson v. State, 740 N.E.2d 118 (Ind. 2001), should control and lead to excluding the informant’s testimony because the state was trying to avoid an adverse ruling.

But the appellate court deemed Cobbs’ case similar to Hollowell v. State, 773 N.E.2d 326 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002), in which the COA found the state wasn’t trying to circumvent an adverse ruling in dismissing and refiling charges because of a missing key witness.

“The record indicates that, despite the original trial court’s ruling regarding the testimony of the confidential informant, the State was proceeding with Cobbs’s trial. The State ultimately dismissed the charges because it was missing an essential witness on the day of trial and because the trial court apparently had a strict continuance policy,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote.

“We acknowledge that, after the State refiled the charges, it did seek a reconsideration of the exclusion of the confidential informant’s testimony, and the new trial court allowed that testimony. However, even if the trial court improperly reconsidered the exclusion of the confidential informant’s testimony, we conclude that any error was harmless,” Barnes continued, because other evidence at trial supports the conviction.

 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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