Opinions April 10, 2019

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Indiana Court of Appeals
Tre Ron Smith v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms Tre Ron Smith’s Class A misdemeanor possession of a handgun conviction. Finds police had reasonable suspicion under the federal and state constitutions to conduct a Terry stop of Smith, and they did not exceed the permissible scope of such a stop. Also finds the trial court did not err when it allowed into evidence the firearm found in the search conducted after the Terry stop. Judge Melisa May dissents with separate opinion.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of D.H., K.H., and E.H. (Minor Children) and L.H. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services
Juvenile termination/rehearing. Grants the Department of Child Services’ petition for rehearing requesting the reconsideration of an Indiana Court of Appeal’s opinion in L.H. v. Ind. Dep’t of Child Serv. (In re D.H.), 18A-JT-1861. Find the appellate court erroneously stated that I.C. 31-35-2-4.5(d) required DCS to state in the termination petition whether there was a basis for filing a motion to dismiss the petition and to file a motion to dismiss if such a basis exists. Grants the petition solely to correct that error.
Ana Martins v. Richard Hill and Diana Hill
Civil tort. Reverses the Lake Superior Court’s order granting Richard and Diana Hill’s Motion to Enforce Unconditionally Accepted Qualified Settlement Offer. Finds the trial court erred in granting the Hills’ motion because there was neither a valid offer under the Qualified Settlement Offer statutes, nor a valid acceptance. Remands for proceedings.

Curtis S. Gridley v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Curtis Gridley’s conviction of Level 4 felony attempt to manufacture methamphetamine and Level 6 felony theft. Finds the Ripley Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in replacing a sleeping juror during the presentation of evidence. Also finds Gridley has not demonstrated fundamental error that warrants a new trial and waived his claim of prosecutorial misconduct during the state’s closing arguments.

Cody W. Morris v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Cody Morris’ aggregate five-year sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony counts of intimidation and domestic battery. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character.

Jeffrey Allen Rowe v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the LaPorte Circuit Court’s denial of Jeffrey Rowe’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds the trial court did not err in denying his two motions for summary disposition or when it concluded that Rowe had received effective assistance from his pretrial counsel. Finds the post-conviction court’s findings regarding Rowe’s constitutional right to plea bargain and his admission of guilt do not support its conclusion that Rowe had received effective assistance from his trial counsel as it relates to the state’s plea offer. Also finds Rowe must be given the opportunity to present evidence to support his claim that his counsel did not communicate the state’s offer to him. Reverses the post-conviction court’s order on that issue and remands with instructions for the post-conviction court to hold the supplemental hearing.

Timothy Patton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Timothy Patton’s more than 120-year sentence for conviction of four counts of Level 1 felony rape, Level 1 felony attempted rape, Level 5 felony counts of criminal confinement and kidnapping, Level 6 felony strangulation and two counts of Level 6 felony battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate given the nature of his offenses and his character. Finds the trial court erred when it merged, rather than vacated, Patton’s convictions for criminal confinement and battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. Reverses and remands with instructions to the trial court to vacate those convictions.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of D.P. and X.P. (Minor Children) and T.G. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the Madison Circuit Court’s order terminating T.G.’s parental rights to his two minor children. Finds T.G. has not established that he was denied due process and that clear and convincing evidence supports the trial court’s order involuntarily terminating his parental rights.

William R. Grimes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms William Grimes’ conviction of Class C misdemeanor operating while intoxicated. Finds there is sufficient evidence regarding Grimes’ impairment and intoxication to support the conviction.

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