Opinions April 12, 2018

April 12, 2018

Indiana Supreme Court
Kristopher L. Weida v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms and reverses in part probation conditions imposed on Kristopher Weida after he was convicted of incest with his teenage niece. Finds the probation condition restricting Weida from accessing websites “frequented by children” is not vague, unreasonable or unduly intrusive on Weida’s constitutional rights. Also finds the probation condition prohibiting Weida from accessing the Internet without approval from his probation officer is unreasonable because it does not reasonably relate to his rehabilitation and to protecting the public. Remands for further proceedings.  

Indiana Court of Appeals
Robert A. Masters v. Leah Masters

Domestic relation. Affirms the award of attorney fees to Leah Masters pursuant to an indemnification clause in a divorce decree with Robert Masters. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not err.

Antonio M. Merritt v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Antonio M. Merritt’s conviction of felony murder and his adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds the Marion Superior Court had no obligation to sua sponte admonish Merritt’s second jury not the speculate about the reasons why two witnesses might have been unavailable to testify while their prior statements were read into evidence.
Tarsha Cheesman v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Tarsha Cheesman’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor theft. Finds the Clay Circuit Court did not err in denying Cheesman’s demand for a jury trial as untimely.

Tevin Dejaron Winborn v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Tevin Dejaron Winborn’s conviction of carrying a handgun without a license and battery of a pregnant woman, both Level 5 felonies, and Level 6 felony strangulation. Finds the St. Joseph Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Winborn’s motion to suppress. Also finds there was sufficient evidence presented to convict Winborn of strangulation and battery.

In re: The Adoption of N.T., a minor child, M.T. v. J.T. (mem. dec.)
Adoption. Affirms the finding that J.T.’s consent to the adoption of his child, N.T., was necessary. Finds the LaPorte Superior Court did not clearly err.

Samuel S. Longanbach v. Odessa J. Pawloski (mem. dec.)
Juvenile paternity. Reverses the denial of Samuel Longanbach’s petition for modification of parenting time of his son, E.W.L. Finds the Steuben Circuit Court erred in its refusal to modify parenting time. Remands to the trial court to issue a modified parenting time order consistent with the schedule proposed by Odessa Pawloski.

Jaedyn L. Clayburn v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the extension of Jaedyn L. Clayburn’s probationary term after her conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class A misdemeanor, and Clayburn’s one-year sentence for Class A misdemeanor theft. Finds the Bartholomew Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it extended Clayburn’s probation by six months. Also finds Clayburn’s sentence for theft is not inappropriate.

Stacy Demaree v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Stacy Demaree’s 2½-year executed sentence, with 1½ years suspended, for her conviction of Level 6 felony possession of heroin, her probation violation, and the revocation of Demaree’s 870-day previously suspended sentence. Finds Demaree has not met her burden of proving her sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and her character. Also finds the Dearborn Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered Demaree to serve the 870-day previously suspended sentence.
Shawn M. Burnworth v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Shawn M. Bunworth’s 12-year aggregate sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony dealing in methamphetamine and his admission to being a habitual offender and violating his probation, and the order for him to serve the six-year balance of a previously suspended sentence. Finds the Huntington Superior Court erred by imposing the habitual offender enhancement as a separate consecutive sentence instead of attaching it to Burnworth’s underlying conviction. Also finds Burnworth’s sentence is not inappropriate. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering Burnworth to serve the balance of his previously suspended sentence. Remands with instructions for the trial court to attach the habitual offender enhancement to the sentence imposed on his Level 5 felony conviction.
Scottie Edwards v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Scottie Edwards’ petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Edwards has waived his claim of error in the application of the law of case doctrine. Also finds the post-conviction court did not clearly err in rejecting Edwards’ claims of ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. Finally, finds the post-conviction court did not err in denying Edwards’ motion to correct error.
In re: The Matter of The Termination of Parental Rights of: P.C., J.B., and W.B. (Minor Children) and P.C. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of P.R.C.’s parental rights to his children. Finds the termination order was not clearly erroneous.

Kevin B. Streete v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kevin B. Streete’s conviction of conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine and dealing in meth, both as Level 2 felonies, dealing in meth as a Level 5 felony and dealing in marijuana as a Level 6 felony and his 40½-year sentence. Finds there was sufficient evidence supporting Streete’s convictions, and any argument regarding the admission of evidence is waived. Also finds there was a substantial basis for the Martin Circuit Court to conclude probable cause existed for the issuance of a search warrant for Streete’s residence, and the court did not abuse its discretion in refusing Streete’s tendered instruction. Finally, finds Streete’s sentence is not inappropriate.