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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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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