Opinions April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
Stephen Wirthlin v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses the denial of Stephen Wirthlin’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea to Level 6 felony charges of possession of methamphetamine and dealing in a synthetic drug or synthetic drug lookalike. Finds Wirthlin did not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waive his right to counsel at the initial or guilty plea hearings. Remands with instructions to withdraw Wirthlin’s guilty plea and vacate his conviction and sentence of two years, with 16 months suspended to probation, and for further proceedings.

Dion Cannon v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Dion Cannon’s 15-year aggregate sentence for his convictions of Level 3 felony possession of a narcotic drug, Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance. Finds any error in the admission of evidence was harmless. Also finds Cannon has not established his sentence is inappropriate. Judge Margret Robb dissents with separate opinion.

Ralph Lee McKinney v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ralph Lee McKinney’s aggregate 28-year sentence for his conviction of Level 4 felony child molesting and being a habitual offender. Finds McKinney’s sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

In the Matter of: A.V. & E.V. (Children Alleged to be in Need of Services) and A.P. (Mother); A.P. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of A.P.’s children, A.V. and E.V., as children in need of services. Finds the Department of Child Services presented sufficient evidence to support the Fulton Circuit Court’s findings regarding the children, and those findings support the conclusion that the children were CHINS.

Kelly J. Gibson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kelly J. Gibson, Jr.’s 45-year sentence for Class A felony kidnapping. Finds Gibson’s sentence is not inappropriate.
T.W. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile status. Reverses the true finding against T.W. for conduct that would be Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement if committed by an adult. Finds insufficient evidence supports T.W.’s delinquency adjudication. Remands with instructions to vacate the adjudication.

Isaiah Christmas v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Isaiah Christmas’ conviction of Level 5 felony sexual misconduct. Finds there is sufficient evidence to sustain Christmas’ conviction.

Stanley Harris v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Stanley Harris’ conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to establish Harris was intoxicated when stopped by police.

In the Matter of L.R. and C.R. (Minor Children), Children in Need of Services, M.R. (Mother) and R.R. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of M.R.’s two minor children, L.R. and C.R., as children in need of services. Finds the Marion Superior Court’s adjudication of L.R. and C.R. as CHINS was not clearly erroneous.
In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Z.W. and Za.W. (Minor Children) D.W. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of D.W.’s parental rights to her two minor children. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support the termination.
Stevonta D. Hill v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part Stevonta Hill’s convictions of Level 3 felony conspiracy to commit armed robbery and the use of a firearm in commission of an offense. Vacates Hill’s five-year sentence enhancement. Finds the Tippecanoe Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it refused to give Hill’s proffered jury instruction on conspiracy. Also finds the trial court erred in enhancing Hill’s sentence by five years under the firearm enhancement.

Tarik Atum Re El v. Lake Circuit Court (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the denial of Tarik Atum Re El’s “Petition for Change of Name and For Redress to Assume the Race/Nationality of Moor/Americas Aboriginal National.” Finds the Lake Circuit Court did not err.
Lawrence J. Hill v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Lawrence Hill’s conviction of robbery and attempted robbery, both as Level 3 felonies. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support Hill’s conviction.