Opinions Aug. 2, 2022

Keywords Opinions

Court of Appeals of Indiana
Jefferson R. Griffin v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-1444
Criminal. Reverses Jefferson R. Griffin’s 46-year sentence for a variety of child molesting offenses. Finds the Rush Circuit Court erred in applying multiple enhancements to Griffin’s sentence and ordering those enhancements to run consecutively. Remands to the trial court with instructions to either vacate one of the enhancements or attach one of the enhancements to another conviction and run the sentences concurrently.

Joe Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2303
Criminal. Affirms Joe Johnson’s convictions of two counts of child molesting. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in excluding evidence, under Indiana Evidence Rule 412, that his victim/stepdaughter, T.P., was in a sexual relationship with a man she met in Florida, which Johnson thought supported his defense theory that T.P. falsely accused him to deflect attention from that relationship.

In re the Guardianship of Patrick Rishor, an incapacitated person Earl Lasater v. Shirley Rishor (mem. dec.)
21A-GU-2713
Guardianship. Reverses the denial of Earl Lasater’s petition to remove Shirley Ann Rishor as guardian over her husband, Patrick Rishor, and the award of attorney fees to Shirley. Finds the Clark Circuit Court erred in denying Lasater’s motion to continue the hearing on his petition. Remands for a new hearing.

Bryant Lemont Sykes v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-2778
Criminal. Affirms the revocation of Bryant Lemont Sykes’ placement in community corrections and the order that he serve the remaining 1,012 days of his sentence in the Department of Correction. Finds the evidence presented sufficient provided the alleged community corrections violations.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of M.F., Father, C.S., Mother, and D.F. and Ma.F., Minor Children, M.F. v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
22A-JT-76
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father M.F.’s parental rights to D.F. and Ma.F. Finds no violation of Indiana Code § 31-34-6-2.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: Me.B. (Minor Child) and M.B. (Mother), M.B. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
22A-JT-190
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother M.B.’s parental rights to her daughter. Finds the Daviess Circuit Court’s Finding 155 regarding M.B.’s unwillingness to bring about reunification is not clearly erroneous. Also finds the evidence supports the trial court’s conclusion that there is a reasonable probability that M.B. will not remedy the conditions that resulted in Me.B.’s removal and continued placement outside of the home. Finally, finds the Department of Child Services made reasonable efforts related to M.B.’s “addiction recovery.”

Charlie D. Leshore, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-193
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Charlie Leshore Jr.’s petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal. Finds the Allen Superior Court did not err. Judge Leanna Weissmann dissents with separate opinion.

Jimmy N. Mitchell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-260
Criminal. Affirms Jimmy N. Mitchell’s convictions of Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a syringe, Level 6 felony possession of a controlled substance and Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a legend drug. Finds the evidence is sufficient to prove Mitchell constructively possessed the syringes and pills. Also finds the Wabash Circuit Court did not err by rejecting Mitchell’s proposed jury instruction on nonexclusive possession.

Kenton Hall v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
22A-CR-282
Criminal. Affirms Kenton Hall’s convictions of Level 1 felony child molesting, Level 4 felony child molesting, Level 6 felony intimidation and two counts of Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy, and his aggregate 38-year sentence. Finds Hall has waived his argument that the Tippecanoe Superior Court erred by admitting evidence of his suicide, and waiver notwithstanding, the admission of the evidence was harmless. Also finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Hall’s request to sever his charges for Class A misdemeanor invasion of privacy from his other charges. Finally, finds Hall’s sentence is not inappropriate.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of M.L. and A.L. (Minor Children) and J.L. (Mother) J.L. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
22A-JT-312
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of mother J.L.’s parental rights to her daughters. Finds the evidence is sufficient to support the Hamilton Circuit Court’s conclusion that J.L.’s habitual conduct shows there is a reasonable probability she will not remedy the conditions that resulted in the children’s removal and continued placement outside the home. Also finds J.L.’s due process rights were not violated.

In the Matter of the Commitment of M.W. M.W. v. Evansville State Hospital (mem. dec.)
22A-MH-554
Mental health. Affirms the continuation of M.W.’s involuntary commitment to the Evansville State Hospital. Finds the Monroe Circuit Court correctly determined that M.W. remains gravely disabled.

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