Opinions Aug. 21, 2019

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday.
USA v. Curtis L. Johnson

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. District Judge Michael J. Reagan.
Criminal. Dismisses Curtis Johnson’s appeal of his 21-month sentence for conviction of wire fraud and upholds the appeal waiver in his guilty plea agreement. Finds no fundamental error and that Johnson’s circumstances do not present a due process exception to the rule that most written appeal waivers are effective. Concludes Johnson does not fall outside of the limits to an appeal waiver.

Indiana Supreme Court
Troy R. Shaw v. State of Indiana
Post conviction. Grants transfer to Troy Shaw’s appeal of a dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. Finds that because Shaw’s petition addressed only the grounds arising from his second appeal, it was not a “second” or “successive” petition as defined by Ind. P-C. R. 1(12). Thus, Shaw’s petition may proceed without prior appellate authorization. The Public Defender of Indiana may represent Shaw under these circumstances. Remands for further proceedings consistent with the per curiam opinion. All justices concur.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Randall L Shields v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Randall Shields’ aggregate 53-year sentence and conviction of two counts of Level 1 felony child molesting and Level 6 felony strangulation. Finds Shields has not demonstrated his sentence is disproportionate and that the jury was not unduly prejudiced by the Marion Superior Court’s decision to have an exhibit of aborted fetal remains available in the jury room.

Dequarius Walker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Dequarius Walker’s 58-year sentence for his murder conviction. Finds there was sufficient evidence to support the conviction and rebut Walker’s claim of self-defense. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not err in failing to instruct the jury on involuntary manslaughter. Finds it was not fundamental error for the trial court to fail to, sua sponte, instruct the jury on reckless homicide. Finds Walker’s sentence is not inappropriate.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: J.W., et al. (Minor Children), and P.F. (Mother) and F.W., II (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of mother P.F.’s parental rights to J.W., Ak.W., F.W., An.W., and N.W. Also affirms the termination of father F.W., II’s parental rights to F.W., An.W., and N.W. Finds the Monroe Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion by denying father’s motion for a continuance. Finds the termination of both mother’s and father’s parental rights is not clearly erroneous.

Arturo Strickland v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the Wayne Superior Court’s denial of Arturo Strickland’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Strickland did not receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel, and therefore, the trial court’s denial of his petition for PCR is not clearly erroneous.

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