Woman’s conviction for threatening apartment manager upheld

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a woman’s intimidation conviction Thursday, finding the evidence supports the charge that she threatened the manager of the apartment complex where she lived.

Donnetta Newell was being evicted from an Indianapolis apartment complex and sued for damages over a recent incident in which management believed she had damaged a desk in the apartment manager’s office with a meat cleaver.

Newell was upset about the eviction notice and told apartment security guard Russell Growe that the new lady upstairs – the apartment manager Evelyn Young – was about to get her f******g head knocked off. Growe was concerned for Young’s safety and immediately told her about the threats. Extra security was posted outside her office for several weeks.

Newell appealed her Class A misdemeanor conviction, arguing the evidence couldn’t sustain her conviction and that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence of the desk incident.

“Here, Growe testified that, based on Newell’s past interactions with him, she was aware his duties included reporting problems to the apartments’ manager. Furthermore, her threat against Young raised a security issue, and a reasonable person could conclude that Growe would have to act on that threat. There is sufficient evidence for the finder of fact to conclude Newell knew that her statement would be transmitted to Young,” Senior Judge Randall Shepard wrote in Donnetta Newell v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1309-CR-744.

The appellate court also concluded that evidence about the desk incident was admissible under Rule 404(b) as probative of whether Newell intended to intimidate.

“Newell has argued at trial and on appeal that she never intended to threaten Young but was instead merely expressing frustration at being evicted. On this question of intent, evidence that she was believed to have done violence recently in the manager’s office was legitimately available for the purpose of evaluating whether her subsequent statements about doing violence to the new manager were actually threats or just hyperbole. Moreover, evidence of the desk incident was admissible under Rule 404(b) because it was material to evaluating Growe and Young’s reaction to Newell’s statement,” Shepard wrote.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.