Opinions March 12, 2021

The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinions were posted after IL deadline Thursday:
USA v. Rita Law
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen.
Criminal. Affirms Rita Law’s conviction of four sex trafficking-related counts and 360-month sentence, finding no errors by the district court in the admission or sufficiency of the evidence or the imposition of sentence.

Tyrus Coleman v. Ron Neal
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. Judge Philip P. Simon.
Criminal. Affirms Tyrus Coleman’s conviction for the attempted murder of Anthony Dye. Finds he is not a victim of a double-jeopardy violation after he was retried following a hung jury in which he also was found not guilty of the murder of another man, Jermaine Jackson, nor was his counsel ineffective.

Sonja Pennell v. Global Trust Management, LLC
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Judge James R. Sweeney, II.
Civil. Vacates the Southern District Court’s judgment for Global Trust Management and remands with instructions to dismiss Sonja Pennell’s lawsuit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Finds she failed to allege concrete injury in her complaint.

Meretha Arnold v. Andrew Saul
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Holly A. Brady.
Civil. Affirms an administrative law judge’s decision that Meretha Arnold is not disabled. Finds any conclusion about how Arnold’s side effects impacted her ability to work would be pure speculation.

Friday’s opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Curtis L. Williams v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Curtis Williams’ 114½-year sentence for conviction in Allen Superior Court of two counts of Level 1 felony child molestation and one count each of Level 4 felony child molestation and Level 6 felony battery. Finds no abuse of discretion in admitting the victim’s pretrial statements under the Protected Persons Statute, the evidence was sufficient to support Williams’ conviction and the sentence was not inappropriate.

Billy Francis Williams, II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Billy Williams’ sentence of six years, including five executed in the Department of Correction, for his conviction in Tippecanoe Superior Court of Level 5 felony burglary. Finds the sentence is not inappropriate.

Commitment of S.F. (mem. dec.)
Mental health. Affirms the Marion Superior Court’s order of regular commitment for S.F., finding sufficient evidence supports the trial court’s conclusion that S.F. is gravely disabled.

Larry D. Blanton, Jr. v. Indiana Parole Board, et al. (mem. dec.)
Miscellaneous. Affirms the Henry Circuit Court’s denial of Larry Blanton’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, finding the court did not err in treating it as an unauthorized successive petition for post-conviction relief and therefore summarily denying it.

Daniel A. Ellis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Daniel Ellis’ 12-year executed sentence imposed after his conviction in Madison Circuit Court of Level 4 felony causing death when operating a vehicle with a schedule I or schedule II controlled substance in his blood. Finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in weighing aggravating and mitigating factors and the sentence is not inappropriate. Reverses a restitution order of $38,000 for a LifeLine flight and remands for a new evidentiary restitution hearing.

Jeremy Allen Fennell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jeremy Fennell’s three-year sentence after he pleaded guilty in Vigo Superior Court to Level 5 felony failure to register as a sex offender. Finds Fennell has not met his burden of establishing that his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

Dakota S. Dudelston v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms the Delaware Circuit Court’s revocation of Dakota Dudelston’s probation, finding no abuse of discretion.

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