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Supreme Court takes multiple evidence admissibility appeals

March 27, 2017

The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to four appeals last week, three of which hinge on admissibility of certain evidence at the trial court.

Two of the cases – Summer C. Snow v. State of Indiana, 45S03-1703-CR-169, and Reginald Harris v. State of Indiana, 45S03-1703-CR-172 – stem from the same incident.  In those cases, Summer Snow called the police when her boyfriend, Reginald Harris, wouldn’t leave her driveway. An altercation ensued between Harris and a responding police officer, and later between Snow and the officer.

During the altercation, Gary Police officer Terry Peck was struck in the knee with a handgun belonging to Snow. The gun was admitted into evidence, and Snow was convicted on battery and felony resisting law enforcement charges. Harris was similarly convicted on a felony battery against a public safety official charge, and a divided Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed both of their convictions in December, holding that the handgun was relevant to their cases. 

Similarly, in Will Thomas v. State of Indiana, 27S02-1703-CR-170, Will Thomas argued before the Court of Appeals that a baggie of heroin discovered in his mouth after a traffic stop in Grant County was inadmissible. The Court of Appeals agreed, overturning his conviction for felony dealing in a narcotic drug under the “fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine.”

Finally, the justices granted transfer to the case of Consumer Attorney Services, P.A., The McCann Law Group LLP, and Brenda L. McCann, Individually and as Owner and/or Officer of Consumer Attorney Services, P.A., et al. v. State of Indiana, 49S05-1703-PL-161, last week, writing in an opinion Tuesday that a Florida law group that hired Indiana lawyers to represent clients in foreclosures and bankruptcies must face a civil lawsuit. 

The court denied transfer to 20 other cases for the week ending March 24. All transfer decisions can be read here

 

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