Opinions April 24, 2023

Court of Appeals of Indiana
Katrina Louise Fouts v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Katrina Fouts’ convictions on conspiracy to commit murder and failure to report human remains charges. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support Fouts’ convictions and that the Hamilton Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence in the case. Also finds the state’s closing argument did not amount to fundamental error.

Dan Van Treese, Todd Marine Corp., and Overlook Partners, LLC v. Todd Marine Association, Inc. (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Todd Marine Association Inc. in this dispute over the ownership of certain boat docks on Monroe Lake. The appellate court reviewed the matter de novo and independently determined that TMA is entitled to summary judgment. Finds Van Treese identifies no argument or evidence he could present to the Monroe Circuit Court that he hasn’t presented to the appellate court.

Ron-Ricco A. Duncan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ron-Ricco Duncan’s felony murder conviction. Finds the state produced sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was killed during the commission of a robbery.

Herbert F. Breneman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of the motion to withdraw a guilty plea for possession of methamphetamine, four counts of Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief and one count of Class B misdemeanor criminal mischief, entered when Frank Breneman was proceeding pro se. Finds Breneman did not demonstrate that the withdrawal of his guilty plea was necessary to correct a manifest injustice or that the Vanderburgh Superior Court abused its discretion when it denied Breneman’s presentence motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Also finds Breneman’s claim that his waiver of counsel is invalid must be brought through post-conviction proceedings.

Brandon Lee Lothery v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Brandon Lothery’s felony convictions and sentence for possession of a narcotic drug, possession or use of a legend drug and possession of a hypodermic syringe. Also affirms Lothery’s sentence for possession of methamphetamine. Finds admission of the evidence against Lothery was not an abuse of discretion because it was not obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. Also finds there was substantial independent evidence of Lothery’s guilt such that there was no substantial likelihood that the challenged evidence contributed to his convictions. Finally, finds nothing in the nature of Lothery’s offenses or character warranting a revision of his sentence.

Kendale E. Abel, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kendale Abel Jr.’s felony murder conviction. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to establish his conviction for murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mark Richmond v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Mark Richmond’s motion to correct erroneous sentence. Finds the Lake Superior Court properly enhanced Richmond’s underlying sentence by 30 years for the habitual offender adjudication as allowed by the statute. Remands with instructions for the court to correct the errors in the abstract of judgment.

K.T. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Reverses the judgment that K.T. committed the delinquent act of Class A misdemeanor dangerous possession of a firearm by a child. Finds there is insufficient evidence to show K.T. possessed a handgun, which police officers found in a vehicle near where the juvenile had been sitting. Also finds then evidence is insufficient to demonstrate K.T.’s knowledge of the firearm’s presence.

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