Opinions Nov. 17, 2016

November 17, 2016

Indiana Court of Appeals
Gabriel G. Williams v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Gabriel Williams’ conviction of Level 5 felony criminal recklessness. Finds the bullet lodged in the side of a house fired from Williams’ gun constitutes “into” the dwelling for purposes of the statute.

Kyle Pavan v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief, finding that trial counsel cannot be deemed ineffective for failing to pursue a meritless defense and that Pavan’s statute-of-limitations argument is without merit. Pavan relied on I.C. 35-41-4-2(e) that bars prosecution for incest, child molesting, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation or child seduction after the alleged victim reaches age 31. The court ruled the statute was inapplicable to Pavan and that to adopt his interpretation would lead to an absurd and illogical result that it is not illegal for an adult to engage in consensual incestuous intercourse with a family member over the age of 31.

Sperro LLC d/b/a Sperro Towing and Recovery, Fenner & Associates LLC, Brian Fenner, and AMI Asset Management, Inc. and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Ford Motor Credit Company LLC
Civil plenary. Affirms on interlocutory appeal a preliminary injunction order granting Ford Motor Credit prejudgment possession of vehicles on which Sperro asserted mechanic’s liens and in some cases sold at auction. The trial court’s conclusions are not clearly erroneous, including the conclusion that Sperro and owner Brian Fenner intentionally induced the breach of the installment contracts between the borrowers and FMCC or proceeded with reckless disregard of the contractual relationship between the borrowers and FMCC.

Johnnie Nettles v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of felony murder and Level 5 felony robbery. The court did not abuse its discretion in admitting physical evidence.

Jimmy Lee Bush v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of two counts of Level 3 felony criminal confinement, finding the state presented sufficient evidence to support the convictions.

Tory D. Ward v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Level 2 felonies dealing in methamphetamine and dealing in a schedule 1 controlled substance, ethylone. Finds there is sufficient evidence to sustain Tory Ward’s convictions.

Sean Clover v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirm’s Sean Clover’s petition for post-conviction relief, finding that he was not provided ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel.

Kenneth W. Kee v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of two counts of Level 4 felony dealing in methamphetamine and adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds Kenneth Kee’s right to a speedy trial was not violated and sufficient evidence was presented to prove the weight of the meth.

In Re: The Marriage of Robin R. Phillips v. Thomas R. Lloyd (mem. dec.)
Domestic relations. Reverses valuation of the marital estate, finding the trial court abused its discretion in omitting a potential cost when giving effect to its equal division of the estate. Affirms the order of an equal division of the marital estate and remands with instructions.

Michael Parrish v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class A felony burglary and two counts of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct, finding sufficient evidence to support the convictions.

Aaron and Stephanie Muir v. Matthew and Tara McWilliams (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court’s determination that Aaron and Stephanie Muir were not a “prevailing party” in an underlying claim by Matthew and Tara McWilliams when the McWilliamses’ claim was dismissed as a result of discharge in bankruptcy.

Jesse Larry Dean Clem v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Remands for correction of Jesse Clem’s sentencing order following his conviction of two counts of Class A felony child molesting and found to be a habitual offender. It is not apparent which of the two convictions the habitual offender enhancement should be attached.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of M.K., Minor Child, and K.K., Mother, K.K. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of K.K.’s parental rights, finding sufficient evidence to support the termination.