Opinions Dec. 5, 2019

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Indiana Court of Appeals
Jennifer L Hall v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Jennifer Hall’s conviction of Level 4 felony aiding, inducing, or causing dealing in a narcotic drug. Finds insufficient evidence to support her conviction pursuant to Indiana Code § 35-48-4-1(c)(2). Remands with instructions to vacate Hall’s Level 4 felony conviction enter a judgment of conviction for Level 5 felony dealing and resentence her accordingly.

Dennis R. Payne, Jr. v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Dennis Payne Jr.’s conviction for Level 5 felony failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death and Level 6 felony obstruction of justice. Finds Indianapolis police did not violate Payne’s Fourth Amendment rights when they seized his Toyota 4Runner without a warrant because he conceded that the police had probable cause to believe the vehicle was involved in the hit-and-run. Also finds the automobile exception to the warrant requirement applies to cars parked on property that is open to the public. Finally, finds the seizure did not violate Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.

Christopher Milo v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Christopher Milo’s conviction for Level 3 felony burglary. Finds the Delaware Circuit Court did not violate the prohibition against double jeopardy when it granted a motion to correct error against Milo’s motion for directed verdict because it did not grant Milo’s motion on grounds that the state failed to present evidence of an essential element of the offense of burglary. Also finds the trial court’s ruling did not act as an acquittal, and the ruling was properly reconsidered. Finally, finds the jury was adequately informed that the state had to prove that Milo intended to commit battery as a felony when he broke into his victim’s apartment.

Scott M. Vaughn v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Dearborn Circuit Court’s order requiring Scott Vaughn serve the remaining eight years of his suspended sentence in the Department of Correction for violating his probation. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

Edward L. Taylor v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Edward Taylor’s convictions for Level 5 felony battery against a public safety officer, Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement and Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Finds the Hendricks Superior Court did not err or fundamentally err by not questioning remaining jurors to determine whether they were influenced by out-of-court contact an excused juror had with a witness.

Keith L. Caldwell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Keith Caldwell’s conviction for Level 5 felony burglary with a criminal organization sentencing enhancement. Finds the Hendricks Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting phone and text records into evidence, so the Indiana Court of Appeals does not need to address Caldwell’s sufficiency claim. Also finds Caldwell’s motion for mistrial was untimely and failed to preserve a PowerPoint for appellate review, and that the Court of Appeals cannot determine whether the bailiff’s display of a PowerPoint slide to the jury during deliberations amounted to fundamental error because the slide was not included in the record.

Nicholas S. Gray v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Nicholas Gray’s convictions of murder, Level 6 felony obstruction of justice and Class A misdemeanor attempted dealing in marijuana, and his aggregate 98-year sentence. Finds the Madison Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion by denying Gray’s motion to dismiss or by excluding evidence of Kennley Johnson’s violent character. Also finds the trial court did not err in admitting evidence of the Smith and Wesson handgun Gray traded in exchange for the murder weapon. Finally, finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

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