Opinions April 13, 2023

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Ray Sorgdrager v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Ray Sorgdrager’s sentence for two counts of child molesting, one as a Level 1 felony and the other as a Level 4 felony, and his 41-year sentence in the Department of Correction. Finds sufficient evidence to support the Level 1 felony conviction. Also finds Sorgdrager failed to establish that either of his offenses is included in the other, either inherently or factually, so he has not established that his convictions constitute double jeopardy. Finally, finds Sorgdrager has not sustained his burden of establishing that his aggregate sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and his character. Judge Elaine Brown concurs and dissents in part with separate opinion.

Jacob F. Barnhart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jacob Barnhart’s convictions of two counts of child molesting as a Class A felony and his 90-year sentence. Finds the delay between the initial reporting of the offenses and the filing of charges did not violate Barnhart’s due process rights. Also finds Barnhart’s arguments regarding the admissions of part of S.K.’s testimony fail. Finally, finds the evidence is sufficient to sustain the convictions, and the sentence is not inappropriate.

Ezekhia R. Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ezekhia R. Brown’s 30-year sentence for Level 1 felony rape with a deadly weapon, Level 6 felony kidnapping and Level 6 felony auto theft. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Kyle J. O’Connor v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kyle O’Connor’s sentence to three years executed in the Department of Correction for his conviction of Level 5 felony domestic battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman. Finds the Morgan Superior Court did not abuse its sentencing discretion. Also finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Brian W. Avery v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brian W. Avery’s convictions of aggravated battery, a Level 3 felony. Finds the state’s evidence was sufficient to disapprove Avery’s claim of self-defense.

Zachary L. Lewis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Zachary Lewis’ conviction of Level 4 felony possession of a deadly weapon by an inmate and his 10-year sentence. Finds the Sullivan Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by excluding Lewis’ witness, by denying his request for hybrid representation or by rejecting Lewis’ proposed mitigators. Also finds the sentence is not constitutionally disproportionate to Lewis’ crime.

Michael J. Nagy v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Nagy’s convictions of Level 3 felony rape and Level 3 felony criminal confinement and his 52-year sentence. Finds sufficient evidence to support the convictions. Also finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Joseph Slopsema v. William J. Spanenberg, M.D., Indiana Department of Correction, Putnamville Correctional Facility, Wexford Health Sources, Inc., and Wexford of Indiana, LLC (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of William J. Spanenberg, M.D., Wexford Health Sources Inc. and Wexford of Indiana Inc. in a dispute with Joseph Slopsema, and the separate grant of summary judgment in favor of the Indiana Department of Correction and the Putnamville Correctional Facility. Finds the trial court properly entered summary judgment.

In the Matter of: B.P., S.P., L.P., Mad.P., and Mac.P. (Minor Children), J.P. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the denial of mother J.P.’s motion to dismiss the child in need of services case involving her children, B.P., S.P., L.P., Mad.P. and Mac.P., and the order that she submit to a psychological evaluation pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 35. Finds the Shelby Superior Court did not err when it denied J.P.’s motion to dismiss because the allegations set forth in the 2022 CHINS petition were not barred by claim preclusion. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it granted the Department of Child Services’ motion to require J.P. to undergo a psychological examination.

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