Opinions April 6, 2020

Indiana Court of Appeals
In the Paternity of M.S., L.S. and S.S. Maria Arriaga v. State of Indiana as Next Friend; Gabriela Ivonne De Landa, (Mother), and Samuel Salazar, (Father)
Juvenile paternity. Reverses the St. Joseph Probate Court’s order regarding a petition for modification of custody filed by Samuel Salazar. Finds the trial court abused its discretion by denying Maria Arriaga’s motion to intervene and its finding that Arriaga was not a de facto custodian to be erroneous. Remands for the trial court to reconsider its custody modification determination and apply the relevant statutes and cases pertaining to de facto custodians. Judge Nancy Vaidik concurs in part, dissents in part.

Ronald Leon Jenkins v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ronald Jenkins’ conviction of resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor. The evidence presented in Marion Superior Court was sufficient.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.G. and X.G. (Minor Children) and K.W. (Mother) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of the parental rights of K.W. (mother) to her children, K.G. and X.G. Finds the Marion County Department of Child Services presented the Marion Superior Court with sufficient evident to support the termination decision.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of A.C., J.S., and D.P. (Minor Children) and A.S. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile. Affirms the termination of parental rights of A.S. (mother) to her children, A.C., J.S. and D.P. Finds the Tippecanoe Superior Court did not clearly err in concluding that the Indiana Department of Child Services proved by clear and convincing evidence that termination of the mother’s parental rights was in the best interests of the children.

Elizabeth J. Hollrah and Janice Stacy, Individually and as Beneficiaries and Former Personal Representatives of the Estate of Laura E. Barker v. Estate of Laura E. Barker, et al. (mem. dec.)
Estate. Reverses the Decatur Circuit Court’s order removing Elizabeth J. Hollrah and Janice Stacy as beneficiaries and personal representatives of the estate of Laura Barker. The Indiana Court of Appeals could not say the “telephonic pretrial with counsel” referred to in the trial court’s order satisfied the hearing requirement under the statute or determine from the record that the trial court’s removal was proper. Remands for a hearing consistent with its decision.

Megan A. Rosenbaum v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Megan Rosenbaum’s convictions of Level 6 felony battery against a public safety official, Class B misdemeanor battery, and Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Finds since an adequate transcript is available, Rosenbaum has not been deprived of due process; the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion regarding the admission of evidence; Rosenbaum waived her claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel; and the state presented sufficient evidence to support the battery convictions.

Brent Porter v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Brent Porter’s conviction and 1½-year sentence for conviction of Level 5 felony kidnapping causing bodily injury and orders the Marion Superior Court to issue a new sentencing order. Finds Porter’s conviction for kidnapping causing bodily injury violates Indiana’s prohibition against double jeopardy because the conviction is based on the same act that also was used to support his conviction of Level 5 felony kidnapping by using a vehicle. Affirms his conviction and one-year sentence for domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor.

Barbara Brewster v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Barbara Brewster’s 60-year sentence for her murder conviction. Finds the sentence imposed by the St. Joseph Superior Court is not inappropriate.

Robert Edgar Leary v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Robert Leary’s conviction of Level 6 felony operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.08 grams per 210 liters of breath or greater and sentence of 910 days on work release. Finds Leary failed to establish Hamilton Superior Court erred by admitting portion of a 911 call and denying him an additional preemptory challenge.

Luvelle Deshawn Neal v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Luvelle Neal’s conviction of attempted murder as a Level 1 felony, and dealing in cocaine as a Level 3 felony. Finds the evidence presented to the St. Joseph Superior Court was sufficient to support Neal’s convictions.

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