Opinions Oct. 16, 2017

Keywords Opinions

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Friday:
United States of America v. Ali Al-Awadi

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms Ali Al-Awadi’s convictions of making and attempting to make child pornography. Finds the pattern jury instructions given to the jury accurately told the jury how to assess evidence of acts other than charged crimes, and the jury was instructed that the government had to prove the elements of the charged crimes beyond a reasonable doubt for Al-Awadi to be found guilty. Also finds evidence of Al-Awadi molesting a young girl was permissible because he placed his intent in taking sexually explicit pictures of the girl at issue, the molestation evidence was relevant to his intent, and the government’s evidence was not unduly repetitive. Finally, finds sufficient evidence supports the jury’s conclusion that Al-Awadi used the young girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct.

Monday opinions
Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of: Doug Bernacchi

Attorney discipline. Suspends Doug Bernacchi for at least one year without automatic reinstatement. Finds Bernacchi committed attorney misconduct by incompetently representing a client, charging an unreasonable fee, improperly using and splitting his fee with a nonlawyer assistant and attempting to obstruct the disciplinary process.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Collin Alan Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Collin Alan Williams’ conviction for burglary as a Class C felony. Finds sufficient evidence exists to support Williams’ conviction.

Christopher A. Bruck v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Christopher Bruck’s convictions of Level 1 felony aggravated battery and Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent and his sentence to an aggregate 42½ years. Finds Bruck was not in custody when he gave a critical, inculpatory second statement to police and, thus, did not have to be given his Miranda warnings beforehand. Also finds the Clark Circuit Court properly admitted Bruck’s police statements into evidence, and there was sufficient corpus delicti to support introduction of those statements into evidence and to serve as a basis for Dr. Melissa Currie’s expert opinions. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Bruck’s request for public funds to hire an expert witness or in sentencing him.

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