Opinions April 21, 2015

Keywords neglect / Opinions
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7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Kenneth Sandidge
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, Judge Rudy Lozano.
Criminal. Affirms four-level enhancement for conviction of felon in possession of a firearm because it was in connection with another felony, and denial of three-level reduction for accepting responsibility. Remands to the trial court to vacate conditions of supervised release, which in accord with recent 7th Circuit holdings must be imposed to fit the particular circumstances of the defendant being sentenced.

Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: R. Mark Keaton
Attorney discipline. Disbars R. Mark Keaton for criminal acts including stalking, harassment and intimidation for leaving dozens of profane, abusive and threatening voicemails and emails to a woman with whom he had developed an intimate relationship. Keaton also was paid in advance for an appeal of an unemployment benefits case in which he failed to file an appellant’s brief.
Indiana Court of Appeals
Brian L. Harrison v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions for Class B felony dealing in methamphetamine and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Reverses convictions for Class D felony illegal possession of anhydrous ammonia and Class D felony possession of chemical reagent or precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. Finds the Class D felonies were lesser included offenses and must be vacated.

Pamela Frazee v. Douglas J. Skees and Angela D. Skees
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s conclusion that the subsurface drain was a mutual drain and the Skeeses did not abandon the drain. Also affirms trial court’s judgment that the Skeeses did not trespass when they connected their perimeter drain to the subsurface drain and that Frazee was solely responsible for the costs she made to the subsurface drain on her property. Reverses the lower court’s ruling that Frazee committed a criminal trespass and, consequently, reverses the award of treble damages and attorney fees to the Skeeses. Also reserves the award of attorney fees to Frazee.

Andrew Meyer v. Beta Tau House Corporation, Beta Tau of Sigma Pi, Sigma Pi Fraternity International, Inc., and Quentin Calder
Civil tort. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants on negligence and defamation claims filed by Meyer after an alcohol-fueled fraternity fight at Valparaiso University. Defendants had no duty to Meyer for injuries he sustained in a fight with another student at a fraternity house after both had consumed alcohol on their own time.

Jeremy Ellis v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms convictions and six-and-a-half-year sentence with six moths suspended to probation for theft and attempted theft, both Class D felonies. Rules Ellis’ two convictions do not violate Indiana’s Double Jeopardy Clause.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: J.G. (Minor Child), and A.S. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of the parental rights of the mother, A.S., to her child, J.G.

Timothy M. Roberts, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of child molesting, a Class A felony.

Mary Stephens v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of theft, a Class D felony.

Javon Thomas v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction for murder, a felony; the 55-year sentence, and the 55-year sentence enhancement for criminal gang affiliation.


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