Opinions April 9, 2021

Indiana Court of Appeals
Tanika Stewart v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Tanika Stewart’s felony murder conviction. Finds Stewart’s challenge to the admission of State’s Exhibit 34, video surveillance footage, is waived, and the Vanderburgh Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting State’s Exhibits 43 through 45, also video footage, due to their quality. Also finds any error in the exclusion of witness Antonio Bushrod’s statements was harmless. Finally, finds the state presented sufficient evidence to rebut Stewart’s self-defense claim.

William G. Zartman, III, Individually and as Successor Co-trustee of the Marilyn M. Zartman Revocable Trust, Kim Zartman, W.K. Zartman Farms, LLC, and William G. Zartman, III and Kim R. Zartman, Member Managers of W.K. Zartman Farms, LLC v. Paul Zartman and Brenda Cameron, Individually, Brenda Cameron as Successor Trustee of the William JG. Zartman, Jr., Revocable Trust, and Paul Zartman as Successor Co-trustee of the Marilyn M. Zartman Revocable Trust
Civil plenary. Affirms the grant of summary judgment to Paul Zartman and Brenda Cameron individually, Brenda Cameron as successor trustee of the William Zartman Jr. Revocable Trust and Paul Zartman, as successor co-trustee of the Marilyn Zartman Revocable Trust. Finds the Miami Circuit Court properly granted summary judgment to the appellees, voided the deeds at issue, ordered the appellants to pay lost profits and ordered William Zartman III to pay appellees’ attorney fees.

Gary A. Diana v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gary A. Diana’s convictions of Level 6 felony intimidation and Class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. Finds the warrant authorizing the search of Diana’s home was supported by probable cause. Also finds the Vigo Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence that Diana directed Laura Nicoson to call before knocking on his door so that he would not shoot her when she knocked. Finally, finds the state presented sufficient evidence to support his conviction of intimidation.

In the Matter of the Involuntary Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: S.C. (Minor Child) and U.C. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father U.C.’s parental rights to S.C. Finds the Warrick Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in denying U.C.’s motion for a continuance. Also finds the Department of Child Services established by clear and convincing evidence the requisite elements to support the termination of parental rights.

A.C. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the denial of mother A.C.’s petition for judicial review of the decision of an administrative law judge, who upheld the Department of Child Services’ substantiation of allegations against A.C. Finds the ALJ’s decision was supported by substantial evidence, and the Marion Superior Court properly denied the petition for judicial review.

Kenyon Samie Stiff v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kenyon Samie Stiff’s conviction of Level 4 felony dealing in a narcotic drug. Finds the impoundment and inventory search of the vehicle Stiff drove the date of his arrest did not violate the Fourth Amendment or Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution, so evidence found pursuant to that search was properly admitted. Also finds the Vanderburgh Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted into evidence copies of text messages contained on Stiff’s cellphone, as that evidence was admissible under Evidence Rule 403 and 404(b) because their probative value regarding Stiff’s knowledge of the presence of heroin in the vehicle was not substantially outweighed by prejudice to Stiff.

In the Matter of D.H.-O. (Child in Need of Services), A.M. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of mother A.M.’s child D.H.-O. as a child in need of services. Finds the Lawrence Circuit Court’s findings support its conclusion that D.H.-O. is a CHINS.

John C. Cergnul v. Paul W. Bradfield (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the judgment against John Cergnul in his small claims action seeking $8,000 to pay for shrubbery to restore an aesthetic barrier after Paul Bradfield removed underbrush and some trees located within a conservation easement around the perimeter of a subdivision. Finds the decision of the St. Joseph Superior small claims court denying nuisance damages to Cergnul was not contrary to law.

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