Opinions April 6, 2017

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Aaron D. Murray v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Aaron Murray’s sentence to an aggregate of 21 years executed for three counts of Level 4 felony child molesting. Finds that Murray’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character. Judge Terry Crone concurs in result with separate opinion, stating he would have consider a more severe sentence had the state requested.

Jacob Lumbley v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Jacob R. Lumley’s convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery as a Level 5 felony, robbery as a Level 5 felony and two counts of criminal confinement as Level 3 felonies, enhanced by the use of a firearm, and his sentence to an aggregate 35 years executed in the Department of Correction. Finds that Lumbley’s argument that he did not “use” the firearm as contemplated by the sentencing enhancement was not properly before the Indiana Court of Appeals. Also finds that the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by enhancing the two separate criminal confinement convictions and ordering that they be served consecutively. Finally, finds that Lumbley’s convictions do not violate double jeopardy.

Town of Clear Lake v. Hoagland Family Limited
Civil plenary. Reverses the Steuben Circuit Court’s grant of summary judgment to Hoagland Family Limited Partnership and the denial of the Town of Clear Lake’s motion for partial summary judgment. Finds that the town has the authority to compel Hoagland’s connection to its sewer system. Also finds that the town did not make any procedural errors that would preclude it from compelling connection to the sewer system. Remands with instructions to award partial summary judgment to the town and for further proceedings.

Donald Anderson, Jr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Donald Anderson’s conviction for battery by bodily waste as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds that there was not a material variance between the charging information and the evidence presented at trial. Also finds that the evidence is sufficient to support Anderson’s conviction. Judge Paul Mathias concurs with separate opinion.

Curt Lowder v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Curt Lowder’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds that the parties did not try the claims Lowder sought to add by express or implied consent, so the post-conviction court did not abuse its discretion in denying his motion to amend his PCR petition. Also finds that the evidence does not unerringly and unmistakably show that Lowder’s guilty plea had no factual basis.  

Robert E. Lehman v. Michele Lehman (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the denial of Robert Lehman’s request for attorney’s fees in defending Michele Lehman’s allegedly frivolous action seeking to vacate a 26-year-old dissolution decree and the order granting Michele Lehman’s motion for preliminary appellate attorney’s fees pursuant to the marital dissolution statute. Finds that the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in determining that Robert Lehman was not entitled to attorney’s fees under the frivolous action statute. Also finds that because Michele Lehman’s action was a domestic relations matter, she was eligible for attorney’s fees under Indiana Code section 31-15-10-1.

Guardianship: Michelle Steege, et al. (mem. dec.)
Guardianship. Dismisses Pamela Douglas and Michelle Steege’s appeal of the Putnam Circuit Court’s appointment of Lynnette Rich as guardian of the person and estate of her mother, Phyllis Tucker. Finds that because Tucker died while the appeal was pending, the issue is moot.

Cameron Washington v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Cameron Washington’s sentence to an aggregate 35 years, with 20 years executed, five years in community corrections, 10 years suspended, and five years of probation for convictions of two counts of rape as Level 1 felonies, armed robbery as a Level 3 felony and kidnapping as a Level 3 felony. Finds that the Marion Superior Court erred when it cited the improper aggravating factor, but that the error does not require reversal.

James Bates v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms James Bates’ convictions for murder and Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license. Finds that under the circumstances, Bates was not deprived of his right to a speedy trial and the Marion Superior Court did not err in denying his motion to dismiss.

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