Opinions Aug. 18, 2017

August 18, 2017

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Caudill Seed & Warehouse Co., Inc. v. Mark D. Rose and MMR Farms LLC
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Civil. Affirms the district court’s judgment in favor of Caudill Seed & Warehouse Co. Inc. on its supplemental collection proceeding. Finds MMR Farms LLC forfeited its defense of release by failing to raise it to the district court.

United States of America v. Antwon Willis and Ericka Simmons
16-2342 and 16-2375
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Affirms Antwon Willis and Ericka Simmons’ convictions of conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin. Finds the charge of conspiracy to commit heroin was contained within the broader indictment. Also finds Willis and Simmons fail to show a Sixth Amendment violation in the composition of the jury pool. Finally, finds Simmons cannot show any error in the jury instruction or the district court’s assessment of an enhancement for possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Rodriques Lamar Johnson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Rodriques Johnson’s conviction of arson as a Class B felony. Finds Johnson’s right to a speedy trial was not violated.

John Johnson, et al. v. Catherine Barnes, et al. (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Dismisses John Johnson, Percival Moore and Harold Wims’ appeal of the dismissal of a complaint for injunctive relief and damages filed by Catherine Barnes and 30 other members of Pilgrim Baptist Church. Finds the matter of whether Johnson, Moore and Wims should serve as trustees as the church has been settled, so the appeal is moot.

Mark Casper v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the sentencing order entered upon Mark Casper’s guilty plea to Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine. Finds the Perry Circuit Court did not erroneously deny Casper credit for his pretrial confinement.

Howard Elam v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Howard Elam’s convictions for Level 6 felony criminal confinement, Class A misdemeanor domestic battery and Class A misdemeanor intimidation. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support Elam’s convictions.

James A. Pequignot, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms James A. Pequignot Jr.’s sentence to an aggregate of 2 ½ years for his convictions of two counts of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement and one count of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Finds Pequignot has not met his burden to demonstrate his sentence is inappropriate.

Maurice Pringle v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Maurice Pringle’s convictions of battery resulting in bodily injury as a Class A misdemeanor and criminal mischief as a Class B misdemeanor. Finds Pringle did not validly waive the right to counsel and was improperly deprived of this right during a critical stage of the proceeding. Remands for a new trial.

John Thompson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms John Thompson’s convictions for two counts of rape as Level 1 felonies and criminal confinement as a Level 3 felony. Reverses Thompson’s convictions for aggravated battery as a Level 3 felony and strangulation as a Level 6 felony. Finds on the facts of the case, the aggravated battery and strangulation offense are factually lesser-included offenses of criminal confinement and must be vacated to cure a double jeopardy violation. Remands to the Marion Superior Court with instructions to vacate the convictions and sentences for those offenses.

Johnny Lynn Langston v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Johnny Lynn Langston’s convictions for one count of Class A felony child molesting, three counts of Class C felony child molesting, two counts of Level 4 felony sexual misconduct with a minor and two counts of Level 5 felony sexual misconduct with a minor and his sentence to an aggregate of 79 years’ imprisonment. Finds the Wells Circuit Court did not err by denying Langston’s motion to sever charges between the two victims. Also finds Langston’s sentence is not inappropriate.

In re the Matter of: N.P., L.P., B.P., and C.P., (Minor Children), A.P. (Mother) and A.P. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the adjudication of As.P. and Au.P.’s children as children in need of services. Finds the parents were not properly notified they needed to defend against mental health allegations during the fact-finding hearing, so the Marion Superior Court erred when it permitted the Department of Child Services’ witnesses to testify about the parents’ mental health. Also finds the evidence does not support the trial court’s order.