Justices set to hear oral arguments in teen LWOP dispute, among others

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Indiana Supreme Court justices will hear several oral arguments early next month, including in a murderer’s life without parole case, a habitual offender’s double jeopardy dispute and a shoddily constructed South Bend condo complex case.

The high court on Sept. 9 is scheduled to hear arguments in three separate cases, beginning with Ryan Gravit v. State of Indiana, 20A-CR-01578.

Ryan Gravit was convicted of Level 3 felony operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death and Level 4 felony OWI causing death. He was also found to be a habitual offender and sentenced to 48 years behind bars. Maximum sentences were imposed on Gravit for both the felony convictions and the habitual offender enhancement, prompting him to appeal on double jeopardy grounds. Before the high court, he also seeks a reduction in his sentence under Appellate Rule 7(B).

Indiana justices are scheduled to hear the case at 9 a.m. on Sept. 9.

Immediately following Gravit’s arguments, the high court will hear the LWOP case of Andrew Conley v. State of Indiana, 21S-PC-00256. There, Andrew Conley was convicted of murder after he killed his 10-year-old brother during a “wrestling match.” He later pleaded guilty in Ohio County and was sentenced to life without parole.

The Indiana Supreme Court split in upholding Conley’s LWOP sentence  in 2012 and the trial court later denied Conley’s petition for post-conviction relief in December 2019. However, the Indiana Court of Appeals in February 2021 partially granted Conley’s petition,  remanding for a new sentencing hearing after finding his trial counsel was “wholly deficient” at sentencing.

The high court will hear Conley’s case at 10 a.m. on Sept. 9.

Finally, the justices will hear arguments in The Residences at Ivy Quad Unit Owners Association, Inc. v. Ivy Quad Development, LLC, John Ward Concrete, Inc. d/b/a JW Concrete and Excavation, Matthews, LLC, DMTM, Inc., David Matthews, Velvet Canada, Todd Miller, JM Quality Construction, LLC, 21S-PL-00294.

In Ivy Quad, condominium owners in the South Bend Ivy Quad 10-building, 68-unit condo complex alleged their building was shoddily constructed when they began to notice crumbling concrete and water infiltration, among other problems. The residents sued and the St. Joseph Superior Court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, but the appellate court reversed and remanded. It found that dismissal of the implied warranty and negligence claims against the defendants was improper.

Justices will hear argument in the case at 11 a.m. on Sept. 9.

Supreme Court oral arguments can be streamed live online. 

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