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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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