Indiana justices take case involving denied deposition request

January 25, 2016

The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether a man on trial for a drug charge should have been allowed to depose two witnesses before trial. The issue divided the Indiana Court of Appeals in September.

Thomas Hale, who faced a felony drug charge, sought to depose at public expense two co-defendants who had entered into plea agreements. The trial court denied the request. The two later testified at Hale’s trial.

The majority on the COA decided that because Hale did not seek a ruling in limine excluding the testimony of the two witnesses after the pre-trial denial of his motion for payment of deposition expenses, he has waived his argument for appellate review.

Judge Paul Mathias dissented, believing the denial of Hale’s request was improper.

The case is Thomas L. Hale v. State of Indiana, 35S02-1601-CR-37.

Last week, the justices also took:

  • Douglas Bragg v. State of Indiana, 49S02-1601-CR-38, in which the Court of Appeals affirmed in October in a memorandum decision Douglas Bragg’s convictions of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct, Class C felony sexual battery and Class D felony theft. Bragg had claimed the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion to strike a prospective juror for cause because the juror was a deputy attorney general.
  • Kastin E. Slaybaugh v. State of Indiana, 79S02-1601-CR-28, in which the justices affirmed the lower court’s decision to deny a motion for mistrial based on a juror’s being “friends” with a relative of the victim on Facebook.
  • Town of Zionsville, Ind. v. Town of Whitetown, Ind., et al., 06S01-1601-PL-36, in which the justices ruled in favor of Zionsville in an ongoing battle with Whitestown over reorganization.

The Indiana Supreme Court denied transfer to 26 other cases for the week ending Jan. 22.



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