Opinions Feb. 2, 2023

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The following Indiana Supreme Court opinions were posted after IL deadline on Wednesday:
Kyle N. Doroszko v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses Kyle Doroszko’s conviction of involuntary manslaughter. Finds the St. Joseph Superior Court violated Indiana Trial Rule 47(D) by denying Doroszko’s counsel the opportunity to voir dire prospective jurors directly. Also finds the error was not harmless. Remands for a new trial.

Richard A. Means, II v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Grants transfer and affirms the trial court’s order in limine in Richard A. Means II’s Level 5 felony battery case excluding from evidence the juvenile court’s child in need of services order finding Means was likely not responsible for the abuse of his girlfriend’s son, E.H. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the CHINS order because the dangers of unfair prejudice and misleading the jury substantially outweigh the order’s probative value. Also finds that after the Court of Appeals of Indiana accepts a discretionary interlocutory appeal, it may later dismiss the appeal on nonjurisdictional grounds. Finally, finds orders in limine are eligible for discretionary interlocutory review. Remands for further proceedings.

Thursday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Calvin Hair v. Dennis Goldsberry, Linda Goldsberry, and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Petition for tax deed. Affirms the denial of Calvin Hair’s motion for prejudgment interest and statutory postjudgment interest on his settlement agreement with Dennis L. and Linda S. Goldsberry and JP Morgan Chase Bank. Finds Hair was not entitled to an award of interest based on the settlement agreement.

Andre Dunn v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Andre Dunn’s conviction of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury as a Level 5 felony. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by excluding certain evidence. Also finds the state presented sufficient evidence.

Leo Dent, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Leo Dent’s successive petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Dent’s sentence to an aggregate of 100 years in the Indiana Department of Correction for two counts of murder does not violate the Eighth Amendment. Also finds Dent failed to present newly discovered evidence that requires resentencing.

Shayna Goodman v. Patricia Harris (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Affirms the small claims judgment in favor of Patricia Harris on her complaint alleging Shayna Goodman caused damage to Harris’ car. Finds Goodman has not met her burden to demonstrate that the court was required to dismiss Harris’ claim or that the small claims court’s judgment was not supported by the evidence.

Torrece T. Milton v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the denial of Torrece Milton’s request for a mistrial. Finds the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion.

John L. Vires v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms John Vires’ murder conviction. Finds the state presented sufficient evidence to rebut Vires’ claim of self-defense.

Ebonie Craig v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal.  Affirms Ebonie Craig’s conviction of Level 6 felony criminal trespass. Finds the state produced sufficient evidence.

Brandon Beeman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the order that Brandon Beeman serve three years of his previously-suspended sentence after he violated the terms of his probation for his conviction of operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator for life. Finds the Ripley Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion.

Alexander Brian Porter v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Alexander Porter’s sentence to an aggregate of 15 years, with 10 years executed in the Department of Correction and five years suspended to probation, for his conviction of two counts of Level 4 felony child molestation and one count of Level 5 felony child solicitation. Finds the 10-year executed portion of Porter’s sentence is not inappropriate given the seriousness of his offenses and his failure to truly accept responsibility for his actions.

Christ Edwin Fenderson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Christ Fenderson’s sentence to an aggregate of 4½ years for his convictions of two counts of Level 5 felony robbery under two separate cause numbers. Finds the Lake Superior Court did not abuse its sentencing discretion.

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