Arguments Thursday in drug case near park with no equipment

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The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on whether children were reasonably expected to be playing at a park with no playground equipment or trees, the central question that must be answered to determine if a man should be convicted of cooking meth within 500 feet of the park.

The case of Corey A. McAlpin v. State of Indiana, 39S01-1705-CR-00342, will come before the high court at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday. Corey McAlpin was charged with Level 5 felony dealing in methamphetamine when ingredients necessary to make meth were found in his apartment, but the charge was enhanced to a Level 4 felony because the cooking occurred within 500 feet of a public park.

Though McAlpin was initially found guilty, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed his conviction in March, finding because the park had no trees, playground equipment or benches, expecting a child to play there was not reasonable. Judge Cale Bradford dissented, but the majority vacated McAlpin’s conviction and remanded the case with instructions to enter judgment against him on the original Level 5 felony charge.

Also on Thursday, the justices will hear the case of Dennis Garner v. Gregory Stewart Kempf, et al., 82S01-1705-PL-00334, in which a divided Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a motion for proceedings supplemental in a civil case.

After Dennis Garner received a civil money judgment against Gregory Kempf, he moved to garnish Kempf’s cash bond from a separate criminal case. However, the bond was revoked. The Vanderburgh County Clerk released the money to Kempf’s criminal defense attorney and Garner sought judgment against the clerk for disbursing the money.

The Vanderburgh Superior Court denied that request, but the majority of the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, finding the court had erroneously determined Garner was responsible for ensuring entry of a lien against criminal bond proceeds was made on the CCS in the criminal case. Oral arguments in Garner’s case will come before the court at 9 a.m.

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