Opinions July 9, 2020

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline Wednesday:
C.Y. Wholesale, Inc., et al. v. Eric Holcomb, et al.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker.
Civil. Vacates the injunction prohibiting the state of Indiana from enforcing its criminal prohibition on the manufacture, delivery or possession of smokable hemp under Indiana Code § 35-48-3-10.1. Finds the district court’s injunction swept too broadly. Remands for proceedings.

Indiana Court of Appeals
James W. Combs v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses in part James Combs’ convictions of three counts of Level 3 felony possession of narcotic drugs and remands after finding the warrantless search of Combs’ vehicle violated his Fourth Amendment rights. Finds, however, that the Boone Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the results of Combs’ chemical blood test or in failing to replace a juror with an alternate juror. Also finds the deputy prosecutor did not commit misconduct, and the evidence was sufficient to convict Combs of leaving the scene of an accident and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Jamie R. Webb v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Jamie Webb’s aggregate 20-year sentence for conviction of Level 4 felony burglary. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded the hearsay statement Webb wished to have admitted, finding it was not against her interest and thus was not admissible under Evidence Rule 804. Also finds Webb’s sentence is not inappropriate.

Michael Philip Atkinson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Michael Atkinson’s murder conviction. Finds the Hendricks Superior Court did not err in failing to give Atkinson’s proposed jury instructions regarding reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter.

Anthony J. Castleman v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Anthony Castleman’s convictions of Class A misdemeanor conversion and Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief. Finds no double jeopardy violation and no error on Adams Superior Court’s behalf when it denied his motion for a mistrial. Finds the evidence sufficient.

Michael J. Sanders v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Michael Sanders’ 63-year sentence for his murder conviction in Washington Circuit Court. Finds sufficient evidence to support the conviction. Finds, among other things, that his sentence is not inappropriate based on the nature of his offense and his character.

James W. Baker, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the post-conviction court’s summary denial of James Baker Jr.’s petition for post-conviction relief in Sullivan Superior Court. Finds Baker has failed to carry his burden to show that the post-conviction court erred when it summarily denied his petition on the due process allegation. Also finds Baker has not shown any reversible error in the allocation of his time served. Finds Baker has not met his burden to show error on appeal.

In the Matter of the Termination of Parental Rights of: R.G., III (Minor Child) and S.G. (Mother) & R.G. (Father) v. The Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of S.G. and R.G.’s parental rights to their minor child, R.G. Finds the Department of Child Services did not deprive Mother of due process and the Dearborn Circuit Court’s judgment was not clearly erroneous.

In re the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of B.P. and K.G. (Minor Children) and J.P. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of J.P.’s parental rights to her two minor children in Lake Superior Court. Finds the trial court’s order terminating Mother’s parental rights to B.P. and K.G. is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

Justin Leffler v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Justin Leffler’s 42-year sentence for convictions in Marion Superior Court of two counts of child molesting, a Level 1 and a Level 4 felony. Finds Leffler has failed to prove prosecutorial misconduct, and even if the appellate court assumes there was misconduct, he has failed to prove that any such misconduct constituted fundamental error.

Jeff D. Bieneman and Tonya Bieneman v. Elliott Foreman, By Next Friend Bobbi Belinda Foreman (mem. dec.)
Civil tort. Affirms a Tippecanoe Circuit jury verdict in favor of Elliott Foreman, By next friend Bobbi Belinda Foreman, against Jeff and Tonya Bieneman on Elliott’s complaint alleging the Bienemans’ negligence. Finds the Bienemans have not shown that the verdict is clearly erroneous.

Steven A. Trusty v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Steven Trusty’s three-year aggregate sentence, with two years executed and one year suspended for conviction of Level 5 felony counts of possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, possession of a narcotic drug, and Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a legend drug. Finds the Clark Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion when it sentenced Trusty and that his sentence is not inappropriate.

Curt Lowder v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post conviction. Affirms the denial of Curt Lowder’s petition for post conviction relief in Marion Superior Court. Finds the post-conviction court did not clearly err in denying Lowder’s petition for PCR and Lowder’s request to dismiss his petition for PCR without prejudice.

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