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Man convicted of brutal beating loses appeal despite errors

November 26, 2014

A man who was convicted of the brutal beating of his stepfather lost an appeal Wednesday that argued his 2008 traumatic brain injury, prosecutorial misconduct and other factors should have reversed or mitigated his 20-year sentence.

Derrick Weedman was convicted in Wells Circuit Court of Class B felony aggravated battery, but defense counsel failed to preserve several appellate arguments, raising the standard of review to fundamental error. That included issues of whether a withdrawn insanity defense and evidence of his brain injury should have been admitted.

“Although we conclude that the admission of evidence regarding Weedman’s withdrawn insanity defense was erroneous, we cannot say that the admission resulted in fundamental error,” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the panel in Derrick Weedman v. State of Indiana, 90A04-1311-CR-549. “The evidence supporting the jury’s guilty verdict was overwhelming.”

Weedman also complained of prosecutorial misconduct for references to Weedman’s tattoos and his post-arrest silence, among other things. “Given the overwhelming evidence of his excessive force, Weedman('s) claim of fundamental error fails,” the court held.

The panel also held that the sentence was not inappropriate, particularly because of Weedman’s criminal history predating his brain injury.
 

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