Opinions May 16, 2019

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Indiana Supreme Court
In the Matter of Mandate of Funds for the Lake Superior Court; Lake County Council and Lake County Auditor v. The Hon. John R. Pera, et al.,

Court business. Affirms Special Judge W. Tobin McClamroch’s order that $176,467.17 be awarded to 14 Lake Superior judges to pay for attorney fees and expenses incurred against the Lake County Council and the Lake County Auditor. Finds substantial evidence supports the monetary award to the judges and that the special judge did not abuse his discretion.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Steve Ferree v. State of Indiana

Criminal. Affirms Steve Ferree’s conviction of Level 6 felony impersonation of a public servant. Finds sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Also finds the prosecutor did not commit misconduct rising to the level of fundamental error and that the Vigo Superior Court did not commit fundamental error when it failed to sua sponte include a jury instruction regarding the statutory definition of law enforcement officer.

Darren Lee Walker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Darren Walker’s 19-year sentence for conviction of Level 3 felony possession of cocaine or narcotic drug in an amount greater than 28 grams, Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement while using a motor vehicle, and his status as a habitual offender.  Finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

Zachery Zerler v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Zachery Zerler’s conviction of Level 6 felony aiding theft. Finds the circumstantial evidence was enough to infer that Zerler was involved in the theft. Finds the trial court properly allowed the use of the term “cutout” because the term is not unfairly prejudicial.

Lakesha (Shawntrell) Norington v. Officer M. Logan and The State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Henry Circuit Court’s order dismissing Lakesha Norington’s civil action for failure to pay a partial filing fee. Finds Norington’s issues on appeal are waived.

Chad E. Smith v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Chad Smith’s aggregate 8½-year sentence for his conviction of Level 5 felony criminal confinement, Level 6 felony strangulation, and Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Finds Smith’s character does not render the sentence inappropriate.

Allen Lee Calligan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Allen Calligan’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Calligan failed to overcome the presumption that his counsel provided effective assistance. Thus, finds Calligan to meet his burden of demonstrating clear error in the post-conviction court’s denial of his PCR petition.

Mischelle R. Musser v. Michael A. Musser (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Steuben Superior Court’s final dissolution order for Mischelle and Michael Musser. Finds the trial court did not err in calculating father’s child support obligation. Finds the trial court’s decision to use an averaging method based on father’s last three years of irregular income to determine his gross weekly income for child support purposes was not clearly erroneous. However, finds the court failed to specify how the award of retroactive child support, covering a period of 10 years, was to be calculated and paid. Remands to the trial court to calculate the amount of back support due and set forth a payment plan for the arrearage.

Tracy A. Thomas v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Tracy Thomas’ conviction of Level 5 felony battery on a public safety official. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Ricky Davis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ricky Davis’ murder conviction. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the conviction.

Troy Ryan Wilson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Troy Wilson’s 240-day sentence for conviction of Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Finds the trial court did not err in its sentencing.

Michael A. Kemp v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Kemp’s 50-year sentence for conviction of Class A felony child molesting. Finds the Delaware Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Kemp.

Marva Deskins Hamilton v. Michael Hamilton (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court’s order in the action surrounding the dissolution of Marva and Michael Hamilton’s marriage. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Michael appellate attorney fees in the amount of $7,500 and denying Marva’s Trial Rule 60(A) motion.

Jose Cervantes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Madison Circuit Court’s order that Jose Cervantes’ work-release placement be revoked for violation, obstruction of justice and failure to satisfy his financial obligations. Also affirms its order that he serve the entirety of his sentence in the Department of Correction. Finds there is sufficient evidence to prove Cervantes violated the terms of his work release and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering he serve the remainder of his sentence.  

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