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Women who dodged orders to appear at trial properly declared unavailable

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a teen’s conviction of felony robbery, finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring two women unavailable for his trial and admitting their depositions at his trial.

Kevin Davis was charged with Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury after prosecutors alleged he and another man stopped Kevin Taylor on his bike, attempted to sell him marijuana, and then beat him with a brick when he refused. Taylor’s shoes, money, drugs and bicycle were stolen during the robbery.

Dorothy Davis, Kevin Davis’ biological aunt and adoptive mother, called police the day of the robbery and said a robbery had occurred in front of her house the night before. L.H., a cousin to Kevin Davis, told police that she was home at the time of the incident and identified Davis to the officer as one of the people who beat and robbed Taylor. Dorothy Davis allowed police to search her home, where police found Taylor’s shoes and a bottle of alcohol in the trash. A.D., Dorothy Davis’ daughter, had taken photos of the bloody scene on the cell phone, which she gave to police.

But when it came time for Kevin Davis’ trial, his mother and adopted sister refused to show up in court to testify, despite multiple requests and orders from the court. L.H. took the stand, but said she didn’t remember witnessing the robbery and didn’t remember anything associated with it. She denied identifying Kevin Davis as being involved.

The prosecution moved to admit Dorothy Davis and her daughter’s depositions because they made themselves unavailable for trial. The trial court admitted them over Kevin Davis’ objections and he was convicted as charged.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals agreed that the two women made themselves unavailable for trial so there was no abuse by the trial court to admit their depositions. Dorothy was held in contempt for not appearing, and still did not show up at trial when ordered. When police went to her home, the people inside refused to open the door.

The judges also affirmed the admittance of L.H.’s prior statements to police. As she testified at trial, she was subject to cross-examination concerning her out-of-court statements, and the trial court was free to believe or disbelieve her testimony and assess her credibility.

Kevin Davis also argued there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support his conviction because the testimony admitted of his mother, adopted sister and cousin should not have been admitted, as well as the photos A.D. gave to police.  But L.H.’s statements to police were properly admitted, Taylor made an in-court identification of Davis as the person who started the robbery, and Davis had Taylor’s blood on his shoes and clothing.

The case is Kevin Davis v. State of Indiana, 49A05-1310-CR-523.

 

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  1. Falk said “At this point, at this minute, we’ll savor this particular victory.” “It certainly is a historic week on this front,” Cockrum said. “What a delight ... “Happy Independence Day to the women of the state of Indiana,” WOW. So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)

  2. congratulations on such balanced journalism; I also love how fetus disposal affects women's health protection, as covered by Roe...

  3. It truly sickens me every time a case is compared to mine. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld my convictions based on a finding of “hidden threats.” The term “hidden threat” never appeared until the opinion in Brewington so I had no way of knowing I was on trial for making hidden threats because Dearborn County Prosecutor F Aaron Negangard argued the First Amendment didn't protect lies. Negangard convened a grand jury to investigate me for making “over the top” and “unsubstantiated” statements about court officials, not hidden threats of violence. My indictments and convictions were so vague, the Indiana Court of Appeals made no mention of hidden threats when they upheld my convictions. Despite my public defender’s closing arguments stating he was unsure of exactly what conduct the prosecution deemed to be unlawful, Rush found that my lawyer’s trial strategy waived my right to the fundamental error of being tried for criminal defamation because my lawyer employed a strategy that attempted to take advantage of Negangard's unconstitutional criminal defamation prosecution against me. Rush’s opinion stated the prosecution argued two grounds for conviction one constitutional and one not, however the constitutional true threat “argument” consistently of only a blanket reading of subsection 1 of the intimidation statute during closing arguments, making it impossible to build any kind of defense. Of course intent was impossible for my attorney to argue because my attorney, Rush County Chief Public Defender Bryan Barrett refused to meet with me prior to trial. The record is littered with examples of where I made my concerns known to the trial judge that I didn’t know the charges against me, I did not have access to evidence, all while my public defender refused to meet with me. Special Judge Brian Hill, from Rush Superior Court, refused to address the issue with my public defender and marched me to trial without access to evidence or an understanding of the indictments against me. Just recently the Indiana Public Access Counselor found that four over four years Judge Hill has erroneously denied access to the grand jury audio from my case, the most likely reason being the transcription of the grand jury proceedings omitted portions of the official audio record. The bottom line is any intimidation case involves an action or statement that is debatably a threat of physical violence. There were no such statements in my case. The Indiana Supreme Court took partial statements I made over a period of 41 months and literally connected them with dots… to give the appearance that the statements were made within the same timeframe and then claimed a person similarly situated would find the statements intimidating while intentionally leaving out surrounding contextual factors. Even holding the similarly situated test was to be used in my case, the prosecution argued that the only intent of my public writings was to subject the “victims” to ridicule and hatred so a similarly situated jury instruction wouldn't even have applied in my case. Chief Justice Rush wrote the opinion while Rush continued to sit on a committee with one of the alleged victims in my trial and one of the judges in my divorce, just as she'd done for the previous 7+ years. All of this information, including the recent PAC opinion against the Dearborn Superior Court II can be found on my blog www.danbrewington.blogspot.com.

  4. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  5. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

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