Opinions April 25, 2022

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Eric S. Rambo v. Liane K. Rambo
Domestic relations with children. Reverses the Adams Circuit Court’s issuance of a provisional order related to Eric and Liane Rambo’s dissolution of marriage action that required the parties to auction their house in 90 days and to use that time “to rehabilitate the property to maximize its value to marital estate.” Finds Indiana Code § 31-15-4-8 does not allow a court to order the sale of property. Remands for the entry of a revised provisional order.

Rafael Bautista Cruz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Rafael Bautista Cruz’s conviction of Level 5 felony battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety official. Finds sufficient evidence to rebut the self-defense claim.

Donald Gene Dowden, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Donald Dowden Jr.’s 2 ½-year sentence for Level 6 felony theft. Finds Dowden’s character more than supports the Bartholomew Circuit Court’s decision to impose his sentence. Also finds the sentence is not inappropriate under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B).

Shelby Nicole Hiestand v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Shelby Hiestand’s conviction of felony murder and her 55-year sentence. Finds that the Jay Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting Hiestand’s recorded statement into evidence or by prohibiting her from asking questions that simply repeated the questions posed and Hiestand’s answers during her interview with police. Also finds no error in the admission of testimony that Hiestand objected to on hearsay grounds, and any error would be harmless.

Tommy E. Lampley, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Tommy Lampley Jr.’s convictions of Level 3 felony possession of cocaine and Level 4 unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds that there was no constitutional violation making the challenged evidence seized as a result of a traffic stop inadmissible.

Keith M. Strayhorn v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Keith Strayhorn’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Finds sufficient evidence to sustain Strayhorn’s conviction.

William Hedrick v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses William Hedrick’s convictions for three counts of Level 6 felony intimidation and two counts of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy. Finds Hedrick neither waived his right to trial by jury on the felonies nor failed to file a written demand for a jury trial on the misdemeanors. Also finds the Marion Superior Court erred by conducting a bench trial. Remands with instructions for proceedings not inconsistent with the COA’s opinion.

Roger Joe Bell, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Roger Joe Bell Jr.’s probation and the reinstatement of two years of his previously suspended five-year sentence, to be executed in the Department of Correction after he admitted to committing a new crime. Finds there was no reversible error.

Travis Wayne Hayes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Travis Hayes’ 40-year sentence for conviction of Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine. Finds Hayes’ sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character.

Justin R. Hogg v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Justin Hogg’s conviction of Level 6 felony theft. Finds the state’s evidence against Hogg at trial was a material variance from the state’s charges. Also finds that the variance resulted in prejudice against Hogg and denied him his due process rights.

In re the Matter of: J.W. (Minor Child), And J.T. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services and Kids’ Voices of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of J.W., the minor child of father J.T., as a child in need of services. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying J.T.’s motion to dismiss, and J.T. has failed to demonstrate how his due process rights were violated. Also finds J.T. has waived his challenge to the evidence supporting the CHINS adjudication, and waiver notwithstanding, the adjudication was not clearly erroneous.

In the Matter of the Commitment of: J.P. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms in part and reverses in part the adverse results against J.P. in an involuntary civil commitment and a hearing on the state’s proposed treatment plan for him, who was previously found by the Indiana Supreme Court to be not guilty by reason of insanity on several arson charges. Finds the Parke Circuit Court did not err in ordering that J.P. be committed, with sufficient evidence to support that decision. However, also finds the trial court erred by holding a hearing on the state’s treatment plan and by issuing an order denying the plan without the requisite statutory authority. Vacates the order with respect to the treatment plan.

Todd Mason v. Tobi Kay Mares (mem. dec.)
Protective order. Affirms the issuance of a second order for protection on behalf of Tobi Kay Mares against Todd Mason. Finds the Hamilton Superior Court’s findings are support by the record, and its judgment is supported by those findings.

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