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Supreme Court grants transfer to OWI case

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Oct. 22 to a case involving a conviction of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

In Clint R. Beldon v. State of Indiana, No. 43S05-0910-CR-496, the Indiana Court of Appeals had to decide whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting a doctor's video-taped deposition at trial in lieu of her in-person testimony and if the state properly requested blood and urine test results pursuant to Indiana Code Section 9-30-6-6. The appellate court also ruled on whether the court erred in sentencing Clint Beldon by using the same prior conviction to elevate his Class A misdemeanor charge to a Class D felony, to support a habitual substance offender finding, and as an aggravating factor to support the imposition of a maximum sentence.

The Court of Appeals unanimously found the trial court erred by admitting the videotape, but the testimony was merely cumulative of other properly admitted evidence, so the error was harmless. The judges ruled Beldon waived his argument on the blood and urine test results because he failed to raise any argument at trial concerning the state's failure to provide evidence of requests for those tests.

The appellate court also found the trial court erred by elevating Beldon's charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated to a Class D felony based on a prior conviction and enhancing his sentence in part upon a habitual sentence offender finding that relied upon the same prior conviction. The case was remanded so the trial court could remedy the sentencing defect.

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