Opinions Oct. 13, 2016

October 13, 2016

Indiana Court of Appeals
Danny Sims v. Andrew Pappas and Melissa Pappas
Civil tort. Majority reverses jury award of $2 million in favor of the Pappases in a lawsuit following a crash caused by Sims, an intoxicated driver. The trial court erred in admitting Sims’ prior decades-old convictions for alcohol-related offenses that neither proved nor disproved any facts that were central to the questions the jury decided, and were therefore irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial. Judge Robert Altice dissents, arguing admission of the evidence of past convictions was for the sole purpose of establishing punitive damages and bear on the reprehensibility of his actions and state of mind.  

Thomas King v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms King’s convictions of murder and Class A misdemeanor possessing a handgun without a license. The court is not left with a definitive and firm conviction that a mistake was made that violated the speedy trial rule and declines to reverse on that basis. The court did not abuse its discretion in admitting testimony from witnesses or officers about King asking a neighbor to hold a gun and tell police he fatally shot acquaintance Michael Mason. There is ample evidence from which a factfinder could find King’s self-defense claim was reubtted by the staet. King’s sentence of 62 years in prison followed by three years in community corrections is not confusing and doesn’t warrant remand.
Sam Milligan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

T.G. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms delinquency adjudication for committing what would be Level 4 felony child molesting if committed by an adult and Class A misdemeanor indecent display by a youth.

Fronse W. Smith, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Level 6 felony intimidation.  

Dennis Linderman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy.