Opinions Jan. 11, 2018

January 11, 2018

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Frederick Michael Baer v. Ron Neal

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Reverses the district court’s denial of Frederick Michael Baer’s petition for writ of habeas corpus with regard to the penalty phase of his trial. Affirms Baer’s convictions of robbery, theft, attempted rape and two counts of murder. Finds Baer’s trial counsel failed to challenge crucial misleading jury instructions and a pattern of prosecutorial misconduct. Also finds the state court unreasonably applied Strickland v. Washington, in denying Baer relief.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Alberto Baiza Rodriguez v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses the denial of Alberto Baiza Rodriguez’s motion to modify his sentence of 72 months executed on work release pursuant to a plea agreement. Finds modification of Rodriguez’s sentence is permissible under Indiana Code Section 35-38-1-17(l). Remands for further proceedings. Senior Judge Robert Rucker dissents with separate opinion.
R.R. v. State of Indiana
Juvenile. Affirms the juvenile court’s finding that R.R. committed the offenses charged against him and violated his probation. Finds the Lawrence Circuit Court had authority to find R.R. to be in a position of procedural default under the facts of the case, where R.R. knowingly and intentionally refused to appear. Also finds juveniles have a constitutional right to be present at fact-finding hearings in delinquency and probation proceedings. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents with separate opinion.

Amber Keith v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Amber Keith’s conviction of Level 6 felony escape. Finds that a home is a place of lawful detention for persons on home detention.

Christian Burt v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Christian Burt’s convictions of dealing in cocaine and dealing in a narcotic, both as Level 2 felonies. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to sustain Burt’s convictions.

Joshua Givens v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Joshua Givens’ conviction of Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a syringe. Finds the Fulton Circuit Court did not err when it granted Givens’ request to proceed pro se.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parental Rights of: M-1.C., M-n.C. & M.E.C. (Minor Children) and N.E. (Mother) and M.C. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of M.C. and N.E.’s parental rights to their three children. Finds the Monroe Circuit Court did not err when it concluded there was a reasonable probability the conditions that resulted in the children’s removal or the reasons for their placement outside the home will not be remedied, or when it concluded termination was in the children’s best interests.