Indiana Supreme Court
Jesse L. Payne v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Reverses the guilty but mentally ill verdict and aggregate 90-year sentence for Jesse Payne after he confessed to burning down two covered bridges in Parke County. Finds the state presented insufficient demeanor evidence to rebut both the unanimous expert opinion that Payne is legally insane and Payne’s “well-documented history of mental illness.” Remands for the trial court to hold a hearing for Payne’s involuntary commitment under Indiana Code section 35-36-2-4. Justice Mark Massa dissents with a separate opinion joined by Justice Geoffrey Slaughter.
Thomas K. Jackson v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Grants transfer and revises Thomas Jackson’s executed 36-year sentence for conviction in LaPorte Superior Court of three counts of Level 3 felony rape to 27 years, with seven of those years suspended to probation. Affirms the remainder of the Indiana Court of Appeals’ opinion and remands to the trial court to issue a revised sentencing order consistent with the opinion. Justice Geoffrey Slaughter dissents, believing transfer should be denied.
Indiana Court of Appeals
In Re the Marriage of: Rick Story v. Allyson Story
Domestic relations, children. Affirms the Hamilton Superior Court did not err in response to Rick Story’s motion to clarify when it held that under the dissolution agreement, Allyson Story is entitled to both pre-retirement and post-retirement survivor benefits and that the parties shall each pay 50% of the premiums for that coverage. Finds that the court properly interpreted the agreement and, with the consent of the parties, only modified the agreement to provide for how the survivor benefit coverage premiums will be paid.
In the Matter of: L.W. (Minor Child), And M.W. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of M.W.’s minor child, L.W., as a child in need of services. Finds the Decatur Circuit Court properly adjudicated the child to be a CHINS.
Sheena N. Reel v. Joshua S. Reel (mem. dec.)
Domestic relation. Affirms the dissolution court’s modification of custody over Sheena Reel’s minor child following the dissolution of her marriage to Joshua Reel. Finds no abuse of the Marion Superior Court’s discretion when it limited mother’s parenting time to supervised visitation until such time as her therapist believes that mother is “safe to proceed with unsupervised parenting time with
Child” or in ordering her to pay $20,000 of father’s attorney’s fees in installments. But remands with instructions for the court to strike the portion of its order offsetting mother’s debt to father from any future child support payments father may be required to make to mother.
Timothy Malott v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms in part, reverses in part Timothy Malott’s aggregate 10-year sentence for conviction of Level 4 felony operating while intoxicated with a prior conviction causing death and Level 5 felony reckless homicide. Finds the LaPorte Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the challenged evidence and that the evidence is sufficient to prove that Malott was intoxicated at the time of the collision. However, finds Malott’s convictions and sentences for both offenses violate Indiana’s prohibitions against double jeopardy. Remands for the trial court to vacate Malott’s conviction for Level 5 felony reckless homicide.