Opinions July 11, 2019

Keywords Opinions

Indiana Court of Appeals
Matthew Purnell v. Kayla Purnell

Juvenile paternity. Affirms the award of sole legal and primary physical custody of S.P. to Kayla Purnell. Finds that although the Johnson Circuit Court abused its discretion in considering Matthew Purnell’s active duty status in the United States Air Force, the remaining findings of fact and conclusions thereon are sufficient to support the grant of sole legal custody and primary physical custody to Kayla.

Robert R. Coulter, III and Kerri E. Coulter v. Philip J. Caviness, Rush County Prosecutor, on behalf of State of Indiana
Miscellaneous. Affirms and reverses in part the grant of summary judgment in favor of Rush County Prosecutor Philip Caviness on his complaint for civil forfeiture. Finds no genuine issues of material fact existed regarding the $22,907, Dell laptop and Nikon camera found in a safe, so summary judgment in favor of Caviness was appropriately granted as to that property. Also finds a genuine issue of fact was left to be resolved regarding a truck. Finally, finds Caviness failed to make a prima facie case regarding a Toshiba laptop and rifle. Remands for further proceedings, and for entry of summary judgment in favor of Robert and Kerri Coulter as to the Toshiba laptop and rifle.

Joseph C. Hudson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Joseph C. Hudson’s motion to suppress evidence. Finds the initial statements Hudson made to Officer Jason Wright while handcuffed did not require Miranda warnings. Also finds Wright had probable cause to conduct a warrantless search of Hudson’s truck. Finally, finds the motion to suppress was properly denied.

Brandee Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brandee Johnson’s convictions of neglect of a dependent as a Level 6 felony and neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury as a Level 5 felony, and her four-year sentence, with two years in the Hancock County Jail and two years suspended to formal probation. Finds the evidence was sufficient to support Johnson’s convictions. Also finds Johnson’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Tressa Bailey v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (mem. dec.)
Agency. Affirms the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Review Board’s affirmation of an administrative law judge’s decision to suspend Tressa Bailey’s unemployment benefits. Finds Bailey was afforded due process and a reasonable opportunity to participate in a telephonic hearing.

C.M. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the adjudication of C.M. for what would constitute child molesting as a Level 3 felony if committed by an adult. Finds C.M. failed to satisfy his burden of proving he reasonably believed M.K. was at least 14 years old when he had sexual intercourse with her. Also finds the state produced sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain C.M.’s adjudication.
In the Matter of The Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: A.N. (Minor Child) and F.N. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father F.N.’s parental rights to A.N. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support the termination.

Bruce A. Wilson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Bruce Wilson’s conviction of Level 4 felony burglary, Level 6 felony theft and the finding that he is a habitual offender, and his aggregate 22-year sentence. Finds the Whitley Circuit Court abused its discretion in admitting inadmissible hearsay, but that error was harmless. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Wilson.

Corey Jackson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Corey Jackson’s community corrections placement. Finds the state proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Jackson violated the terms of his placement by being under the influence.

Kenneth Wayne Wentworth, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kenneth Wentworth Jr.’s aggregate 12-year sentence for his convictions of Level 3 felony attempt robbery resulting in bodily injury and Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury. Finds the Bartholomew Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in its weighing of Wentworth’s mental health as a mitigating factor. Also finds Wentworth has not established that the trial court abused its discretion in not identifying his guilty plea as a significant mitigating factor. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in its assessment of Wentworth’s criminal history.

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