Opinions Dec. 2, 2019

Keywords Opinions

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
United States of America v. Shawn M. Dewitt
19-1295
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.
Criminal. Affirms Shawn Dewitt’s convictions of production, possession and distribution of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2251(a), 2252(a)(2) and 2252(a)(4)(B) and his 30-year sentence. Finds there is ample evidence to support the jury’s decision to convict Dewitt on the distribution count, and expert testimony was not needed for two images admitted into evidence. Also finds the district court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of Dewitt’s cellphone at trial. Finally, finds no infirmity with Dewitt’s sentence.

Monday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Drendall Law Office, P.C. v. Lucy Mundia
19A-PL-582
Civil plenary. Reverses the St. Joseph Circuit Court’s denial of Drendall Law Office’s motion for judgment on the evidence in a legal malpractice case against it brought by Lucy Mundia. Finds the jury’s verdict in Mundia’s favor was clearly erroneous because she did not present substantial evidence supporting the proximate cause element of her claim for legal malpractice. Also finds the trial court abused its discretion in its denial. Remands for the trial court to vacate the jury verdict and enter judgement for Drendall.

David L. Tavernier v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-499
Criminal. Affirms David Tavernier’s eight-year sentence, with four years suspended, for his conviction of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Vince M. Bryan v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-851
Criminal. Affirms Vince Bryan’s convictions for two counts of Level 1 felony child molesting, two counts of Level 4 felony child molesting and two counts of Level 5 felony child solicitation. Finds there was no reversible error or Modesitt violation in the admission of testimony from Officer Kristopher Swanson and Jeffrey Reel regarding what the children told them. Also finds sufficient evidence to support the convictions.

Ira Lee Brown III v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
19A-CR-1232
Criminal. Affirms Ira Lee Brown III’s aggregate six-year sentence for convictions of Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and Level 5 felony attempted battery. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate in light of the Brown’s character or offenses.

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