Opinions June 3, 2021

Indiana Supreme Court

James Combs v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms the trial court’s judgment that denied James Combs’ motion to suppress after concluding that that police officers had probable cause to believe his van was connected to criminal activity and therefore could be seized without a warrant. Finds that the seizure and search of Combs’ van fell under recognized exceptions to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. Justice Rush and Justice David concur. Justice Slaughter concurs in result. Justice Goff dissents.

Indiana Court of Appeals

Courtney L. Kincaid v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Courtney Kincaid’s 30-year aggregate sentence for aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent, both Level 1 felonies, following the death of a baby entrusted to her care. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in limiting the expert’s testimony and that Kincaid’s advisory-level sentence was appropriate.

Cynthia Rossner v. Take Care Health Systems, LLC, et al.
Civil tort. Affirms the St. Joseph Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Take Care Health Systems, LLC, Premise Health Employer Solutions LLC, d/b/a Premise Health, and Healthworks Med Group of Indiana, P.C. Finds no genuine issues of material fact exist and the defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law against Cynthia Rossner, individually and as legal guardian of Shawn Rossner.

Tiyo Lamont Lewis v. State of Indiana (mem.dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Tiyo Lewis’s conviction of Level 2 felony dealing in methamphetamine and Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance, as well as his admittance to being a habitual offender. Finds that any evidentiary error amounts to harmless error. However, remands for the limited purpose of correcting the sentencing errors concerning the habitual offender enhancement.

Clemente L. Alexander v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Clemente L. Alexander’s six-year sentence for Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing him. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate given the nature of his offense and his character.

Iven D. Walker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Iven Walker’s conviction of Level 5 felony domestic battery. Finds the trial court did not commit clear error in determining that the State’s proffered reason for striking Juror 15 was race-neutral and non-pretextual. Also finds no abuse of its discretion in admitting evidence regarding Walker’s prior convictions for domestic battery against the victim or instructing the jury regarding the purpose for which the evidence was being introduced. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate.

Termination: C G v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem.dec.)

Juvenile termination. Affirms the termination of C.G.’s parental rights to her minor child. Finds the juvenile court’s order is not clearly erroneous.

Kevin Scott Weiss v. State of Indiana (mem.dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Kevin Weiss’s conviction for four counts of Level 1 felony child molestation, one count of Level 4 felony child molestation, and of being a repeat sexual offender. Finds evidence that Weiss had sexual intercourse with A.W. is sufficient to support his conviction.

Robert J. Penrose v. State of Indiana (mem.dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Robert J. Penrose’s sentence for resisting law enforcement, reckless driving, and driving while suspended. Finds his sentence is not inappropriate and that court would have sentenced Penrose to two years in jail regardless of the alleged mitigators.

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