Opinions Jan. 25, 2019

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Morgan K. Govan v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms Morgan K. Govan’s conviction of possession of cocaine or narcotic drug as a Level 4 felony, the determination that he is a habitual offender and his aggregate 30-year and 183-day sentence. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not err in admitting into evidence the heroin found on Govan after his arrest. Also finds any abuse of the trial court’s sentencing discretion was harmless because Govan’s sentence is not inappropriate.

In re the Matter of M.M., A.M., and B.M. (Minor Children), R.M. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile CHINS. Reverses the adjudication of A.K. and R.M.’s children as children in need of services. Also finds the Tippecanoe Superior CHINS court could have properly considered the custody matter pursuant to the revision in Indiana Code section 31-30-1-13. Finally, finds R.M.’s challenge to the services ordered in the parental participation order is moot.

Jackie Harold Parsley, II v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Jackie Harold Parsley, II’s convictions of false passing of a lottery ticket as a Level 5 felony, theft as a Level 5 felony and five counts of money laundering, all as Level 6 felonies. Finds there is sufficient evidence to sustain Parsley’s convictions in Marion Superior Court.

Elizabeth J. Strickland v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Elizabeth K. Strickland’s convictions of Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine, and Level 6 felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a syringe and maintaining a common nuisance, and her aggregate 17½-year sentence. Finds the Clark Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted Strickland’s statements to the police or when it admitted evidence procured pursuant to a search warrant. Also finds Strickland has not demonstrated her sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of her offense and her character.

Thomas Virgil Messner v. Dawn Marie Messner
Domestic relation. Affirms the order granting Dawn Messner’s request to be relieved from financial contribution for the post-secondary educational expenses of her daughter with Thomas Messner, Riley. Finds the St. Joseph Circuit Court applied the correct legal standard in assessing the evidence. Also finds the evidence supports the trial court’s determination that Riley repudiated her relationship with her mother. Judge Margret Robb concurs in result without separate opinion.

Kevin Snapp v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kevin Snapp’s convictions in Vigo Superior Court of four counts of Class A felony child molesting, four counts of Level 1 felony child molesting, five counts of Class C felony child molesting, five counts of Level 4 felony child molesting, five counts of Class B felony vicarious sexual conduct and five counts of Level 3 felony vicarious sexual conduct. Finds Snapp failed to object to the introduction of videos of the children’s forensic interviews on the same grounds that he now argues on appeal, so the issue was not properly preserved for appellate review.

Willie J. Holmes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Willie Holmes’ probation and the order for him to serve the remainder of his 1,085-day sentence in the Department of Correction. Finds the Elkhart Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

Justin Whitham v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Justin Whitham’s probation and the order for his previously suspended sentence to be served at the Department of Correction. Finds the Ripley Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion.

In the Matter of: A.A.S. (Minor Child) and J.A.S. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the finding that J.A.S.’s daughter, A.S., is a child in need of services. Finds the Ohio Circuit juvenile court did not err.

In the Matter of The Civil Commitment of: T.K. v. Eskenazi Health/Midtown CMHC (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Reverses the order for T.K.’s involuntary regularly commitment. Finds the evidence presented in the Marion Superior Court does not establish by clear and convincing evidence that T.K.’s mental impairment or deterioration of judgment, reasoning or behavior has resulted in his inability to function independently. Also finds T.K. waived appellate review of whether the commitment order, signed only by a commissioner and not a judge, was valid because he did not object to the commitment order at any point prior to his appeal. Judge Elizabeth Tavitas dissents with separate opinion, holding the commitment order is defective.

L.C. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the modification of L.C.’s probation from residential placement to the Department of Correction. Finds the probation department presented sufficient evidence in Lake Superior Court to support a placement modification. Also finds L.C.’s due process rights were not violated. Finally, finds that because prior efforts at rehabilitation were unsuccessful, placement at the DOC was not an abuse of discretion.

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