Opinions June 29, 2017

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The following opinion was issued after IL deadline:
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Vincent Jones
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Affirms conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The district court’s denial of motions to suppress evidence uncovered in a warrantless search of the trailer where Vincent Jones lived with his girlfriend was not error. The woman, who claimed Jones sexually assaulted her daughter, consented to the search after telling police he was a convicted felon, that she feared for her safety, and that Jones kept firearms in a safe in the home. The government met the requirements of the inevitable discovery rule, Jones’ removal from the property was objectively reasonable, and his girlfriend’s consent to search was effective to permit the warrantless search.

Thursday’s opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
Jordan Jacobs v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Jordan Jacobs’ conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of a handgun without a license. Finds the search of Jacobs by police was constitutionally impermissible. Remands for further proceedings.

Walik L. Whiteside v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Walik Whiteside’s 60-year sentence for Class B felony attempted rape and two counts of Class B felony criminal deviate conduct. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate and does not warrant revision.

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Matter of: K.S. (Minor Child) Child in Need of Services; J.J. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile. Reverses the order adjudicating K.S. to be a child in need of services. DCS failed to present evidence, let alone sufficient evidence, that K.S.’s physical or mental condition was seriously impaired or endangered and that mother was unable to supply the child with necessary shelter.

Daniel E. Messel v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Daniel Messel’s murder conviction and adjudication for being a habitual offender. The trial court did not err in admitting evidence that Messel had previously owned a mag flashlight. Also affirms aggregate 80-year sentence.

Tina Pace v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Tina Pace’s Class B misdemeanor battery conviction, finding sufficient evidence to support it.

Austin D. Warren v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses one of Austen Warren’s two convictions of Level 5 felony failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death due to double jeopardy violations. Remands with instructions to vacate one of his convictions and resentence him accordingly.

In the Termination of the Parent Child Relationship of: S.H. (Minor Child) and B.H. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms termination of father’s parental rights. Finds his counsel did not render ineffective assistance of counsel during the termination hearing.

Wendell Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Wendell Brown’s conviction of Level 5 felony attempted fraud on a financial institution. The trial court had both personal and subject matter jurisdiction, the charging information was not defective, the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction, and the trial court did not commit fundamental error.

Jeffrey Hickman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms order finding Jeffrey Hickman violated the terms of drug court, entering judgments of conviction and sentencing him. The trial court did not err or abuse its discretion.

Logan Bradley Lake v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms denial of Logan Bradley Lake’s petition for post-conviction relief, finding he was not denied effective assistance of trial counsel.

Ronald D. Billingsley-Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ronald Billingsley-Smith’s convictions of Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license and Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Smith’s request to represent himself was per se untimely and the trial court did not commit fundamental error.

Chad A. George v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Chad George’s conviction of Level 3 felony burglary resulting in bodily injury but reduces his criminal confinement and domestic battery convictions to lesser-included offenses that do not require proof of bodily injury due to double jeopardy violations. Remands for resentencing.

Garold E. Colinot v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Garold Colinot’s conviction of Level 5 felony battery resulting in serious bodily injury and sentence of three years, with two executed in the Department of Correction. Finds sufficient evidence to support his conviction. Colinot failed to establish he did not receive a fair trial due to a fundamental error.

Bailey N. Blueher v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of Bailey Blueher’s probation and imposition of the remainder of his previously suspended sentence. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

Nytarian Ray Callahan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Nytarian Callahan’s aggregate 40-year sentence for multiple convictions of rape, burglary and robbery. Finds the nature of his horrendous offenses more than support his sentence.

Brianna C. Petrarca v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Dismisses Brianna Petrarca’s appeal of her aggregate eight-year sentence for conviction of two counts of Level 4 felony dealing in meth.

Sharon Stroup Dorscher v. Robert Dale Stroup (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Reverses order regarding father’s child support responsibilities and arrears. Mother has demonstrated the court committed a prima facie error when it misstated the type of Social Security benefits involved in the case; misidentified mother as the recipient of those benefits; allowed father to credit their son’s SSDI benefits against his child support obligation; and did not indicate how it calculated father’s child support arrearage. Remands for further proceedings.

Joshua Abbott v. Trinady Abott (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms order denying father’s motion to retroactively abate his child support obligation to the date of his incarceration. Cites Indiana Supreme Court precedent rejecting his arguments.

Doralee A. Burress v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms denial of Doralee Burress’ motion for a change of judge as well as the sentence imposed after she pleaded guilty to Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent. Finds no error or abuse of discretion.

In re A.J., a Child Alleged to be in Need of Services, J.J. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Reverses finding that A.J. is a child in need of services, finding the state failed to present sufficient evidence.


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