Opinions May 31, 2019

Keywords Opinions

7th Circuit Court of Appeals
USA v. Devan Pierson 18-1112

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge James E. Shadid of the Central District of Illinois, sitting by designation.
Criminal. Affirms Devan Pierson’s life sentence and conviction for possessing drugs with intent to distribute and two related firearm crimes. Finds Pierson’s sentence was imposed within the meaning of Section § 401(c) of the First Step Act when the district court sentenced him, regardless of whether he appealed a sentence that was consistent with applicable law at that time it was imposed. Also finds Pierson’s Apprendi argument is foreclosed by Supreme Court precedent and finds no prejudice that would authorize an appellate court to find a reversible plain error in the absence of a timely objection in the district court.

Indiana Court of Appeals
Mitzy J. Romero v. State of Indiana

19A-CR-39
Criminal. Affirms Mitzy Romero’s conviction in Elkhart Circuit Court of Level 3 felony robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support Romero’s conviction because she stole $180 in the presence of the cash’s owner, despite not taking the money from the owner directly.  

CassAndrea Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2678
Criminal. Affirms CassAndrea Jones’ conviction of Class A misdemeanor battery. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in not admitting video recordings, that the recordings were likely to have a significant impact upon the court as the trier of fact, or that the exclusion of the recordings affected Jones’ substantial rights.

Michael Wise, Sr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-3141
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Michael Wise’s motion for modification to be placed in a Purposeful Incarceration Program. Finds the Hamilton Superior Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied his motion after treating it as a motion to modify his sentence.

Corey Nickles Morris v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-1264
Criminal. Affirms Corey Morris’ drug-related convictions and adjudication as a habitual offender. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion and that Morris has waived review of his habitual offender enhancement argument.

In the Matter of: A.M. and J.M., Minor Children, D.M., Father v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
18A-JC-3015
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the Montgomery Circuit Court’s order determining that A.M. and J.M. are children in need of services. Finds there is sufficient evidence to support the determination and that the coercive intervention of the court is necessary.  

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of Ta.Y. (Minor Child) and T.Y. (Mother) and T.B.Y. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
18A-JT-2963
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of T.Y. and T.B.Y’s parental rights to their minor child Ta.Y. Finds clear and convincing evidence supports the Tippecanoe Superior Court’s conclusion that termination of both Mother’s and Father’s parental rights is in the child’s best interests.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of T.J., A.J., and Z.K., Minor Children, E.K., Mother, and G.K., Father v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
18A-JT-2170
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of mother E.K.’s parental rights with respect to her children T.J., A.J., and Z.K., and father G.K.’s termination of parental rights to his child Z.K. Finds the Monroe Circuit Court’s determination that termination is in the best interests of the children is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

L.L. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-JV-2768
Juvenile. Affirms the Monroe Circuit Court’s true finding that L.L. committed a delinquent act, which, if committed by an adult, would constitute Class A misdemeanor conversion. Finds no abuse of the court’s discretion in admitting checks into evidence that L.L. had exercised unauthorized control over.

Jamie R. Green v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2188
Criminal. Affirms Jamie Green’s conviction of Level 5 felony domestic battery resulting in injury to a pregnant woman. Finds the Elkhart Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the victim’s prior out-of-court statements during the responding officer’s testimony and the victim’s direct examination.

Jeffery Newton Higman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
18A-CR-2687
Criminal. Affirms Jeffrey Higman’s six-year sentence for conviction of Level 5 felony operating a motor vehicle while driving privileges are forfeited for life and Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of at least 0.15. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing him.

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