Opinions Jan. 25, 2018

January 25, 2018

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Ronald Tingle

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt.
Criminal. Affirms Ronald Tingle’s convictions of possessing and distributing methamphetamine and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Finds a DEA agent had the requisite qualifications to testify as an expert. Also finds the agent’s testimony did not improperly opine on Tingle’s mental state. Finally, finds the district court did not err when it allowed the agent to testify, or when it denied Tingle’s motion to dismiss the charges and his motion for access to grand jury transcripts without a hearing.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Michael Hays and Caryn Hays v. Amanda Hockett

Domestic relation. Affirms the grant of custody of B.H. to Amanda Fisher and the award of $1,365 in attorney fees to Michael and Caryn Hays. Finds the Perry Circuit Court properly exercised jurisdiction over the custody of B.H. under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and did not err in awarding custody of B.H. to Fisher. Also finds the trial court did not err in its award of attorney fees.

Billy J. Burden v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Billy J. Burden’s conviction of neglect of a dependent as a Level 6 felony. Finds there was no evidence to support the element that burden had a subjective awareness of a high probability that he had placed K.E. in a situation that endangered her life or health.

Amanda Wills v. Jeremy Gregory
Juvenile paternity. Affirms the Marshall Circuit Court’s finding that modification of custody of Jeremy Gregory and Amanda Wills’ daughter was in the daughter’s best interests. Finds the trial court did not err in concluding there had been a substantial change in circumstances after Wills’ stroke that adversely affected her ability to be the primary custodian, and that modification of physical custody was in the child’s best interests. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents with separate opinion.

Angelo Bobadilla v. State of Indiana
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Angelo Bobadilla’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Bobadilla failed to establish he was prejudiced by his trial counsel’s deficient performance, so he was not subjected to ineffective assistance of counsel. Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik dissents.

Keith Cornwell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Keith Cornwell’s murder conviction and his 55-year sentence. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed the state to amend the charging information on the first day of trial. Also finds Cornwell’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Anthony L. Elrod v. Raymond C. Bauman, et al. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Reverses the grant of summary judgment in favor of Raymond C. Bauman. Finds the mediated settlement agreement between Bauman and Anthony L. Elrod was an enforceable contract and binding on the parties. Also finds the subsequent agreement and release were not signed or otherwise agreed to by Elrod and, thus, not enforceable. Remands with instructions to enforce the terms of the mediated settlement agreement.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: C.A. (Minor Child) and M.A. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of M.A.’s parental rights to C.A. Finds the juvenile court did not err in concluding the Department of Child Services produced sufficient evidence to sustain the termination.

Jeff L. Graham v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jeff L. Graham’s conviction for Class D felony possession of marijuana and his sentence of three years, with two years and nine months executed and three months suspended. Finds Graham has waived appellate review of his challenge to the admission of evidence. Also finds sufficient evidence supports Graham’s conviction. Finally, finds Graham’s sentence is not inappropriate.
Cyril Washington v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Dismisses Cyril Washington’s appeal of the revocation of his placement on in-home detention and order for him to serve the remaining portion of his sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finds Washington failed to timely file a notice of appeal. Also finds the Howard Superior Court lacked authority to authorize a belated appeal from Washington’s probation revocation.

In re: K.M.M. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms K.M.M.’s commitment to the Department of Correction for having committed an act that would be Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm if committed by an adult. Finds K.M.M. has not shown that the fact that the Lake Superior Court did not hold another hearing after receiving an updated psychological evaluation violated fundamental fairness. Also finds the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in ordering K.M.M.’s commitment with recommendations the he complete anger control classes and drug/alcohol counseling.

Ricky L. Williford v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ricky L. Williford’s conviction of Level 2 felony possession of a destructive device or explosive with intent to kill, injure, intimidate or to destroy property and his status as a habitual offender. Finds the DeKalb Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Williford’s motion for a mistrial. Also finds the trial court did not err when it impaneled a new jury to hear the habitual offender phase of his trial after the first jury could not reach a determination. Finally, finds there was sufficient evidence to support Williford’s conviction.