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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. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  2. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  3. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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