Opinions May 16, 2018

May 16, 2018

Indiana Court of Appeals
Cameron Hunter v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Reverses Cameron Hunter’s contempt finding and sanction of 180 days in jail for violation of a condition of bail, finding the trial court abused its discretion by imposing a punitive contempt sanction when the appropriate remedy was to revoke his bail.
American Access Casualty Company v. Cincinnati Insurance Company
Civil tort. Affirms the trial court’s denial of American Access Casualty’s motion for summary judgment on Cincinnati Insurance’s third-party complaint for a declaratory judgment. The panel holds the business use exception in American Access’ insurance policy is ambiguous and does not bar coverage to Cincinnati Insurance.

Lillian Parsley, as the Guardian, Grandparent, and Next Friend of Robert Parsley, Deceased v. MGA Family Group, Inc., H Properties LLP, Mark Snedeker, and Video Tech/Direct Maytag HAC
Civil tort. Affirms the trial court's dismissal of Lillian Parsley's wrongful death action on behalf of her grandson, Robert, who with his mother, Linsey Parsley, and Alex Snedeker, was killed in an apartment fire. Lillian lacked standing to bring the action under the Child Wrongful Death Statute because she was not Robert’s court-appointed guardian.

Theodore Briscoe v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Theodore Briscoe's convictions of Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement by operation of a vehicle and Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license after having been convicted of a felony within the previous 15 years. The state presented sufficient evidence to support the convictions.

Heath Bradley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Heath Bradley’s conviction of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated with an alcohol concentration equivalent (“ACE”) of 0.15 or more. The evidence was sufficient to support the conviction.

Larry D. Newkirk v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Larry Newkirk’s convictions of Level 6 felony domestic battery perpetrated in the presence of a child under 16 years of age and Class A misdemeanor interference with reporting a crime. The evidence presented was sufficient to support the convictions, and a victim’s testimony was not incredibly dubious.

In re the Commitment of D.E. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Reverses continuation of an order involuntarily committing D.E. to Richmond State Hospital. The evidence was insufficient to support the trial court’s determination by clear and convincing evidence that D.E. was gravely disabled.

Derrick Hicks v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of Derrick Hicks’ motion for post-conviction relief. Hicks failed to demonstrate that he suffered ineffective assistance of counsel.

John B. Myles v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms denial of John B. Myles’ petition for post-conviction relief, holding that the trial court did not err in denying Myles appointed counsel; denying his motions to subpoena arresting officers; denying his requests for pretrial hearing transcripts; ruling against his argument of personal bias on the part of a magistrate judge; and denying his claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel.

James Higgason, III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms James Higgason III’s conviction of Level 6 felony theft, finding the trial court showed no bias or prejudice that prevented him from getting a fair trial.

Ronnie L. Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s revocation of Ronnie Davis’ probation, finding the state timely filed its revocation petition.

Gregory Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gregory Smith’s conviction of murder, finding there is sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction.