Appeals court affirms cocaine-dealing conviction

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A man convicted of Class A felony dealing cocaine and adjudicated a habitual substance offender couldn’t persuade the Indiana Court of Appeals that he was deprived of a speedy trial or that the evidence against him was improperly admitted or insufficient.

Jerome Sheckles contested his conviction on a host of grounds, alleging that the trial court violated Criminal Rule 4(C) by denying a speedy trial, improperly denied his motions to identify and confront a confidential informant, and that he was prejudiced by the admission of police video of a controlled drug purchase, among other arguments.

Court of Appeals Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote for the panel that Sheckles had not met his burden of proving error or abuse of discretion by former Clark Circuit Judge Jerome F. Jacobi. Sheckles wasn’t denied a speedy trial because he caused or acquiesced to delays that prevented a trial within a year of being charged, the court held.

“Sheckles was not deprived of his right to a speedy trial under Criminal Rule 4(C). The trial court did not err when it denied Sheckles’ request for disclosure of the confidential informant’s identity,” Bailey wrote in affirming Sheckles’ conviction and 40-year aggregate sentence.

“Sheckles’ confrontation rights were not violated. The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted into evidence the video recording of the controlled buy,” the court concluded in Jerome Sheckles v. State of Indiana, 10A04-1405-CR-204.

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