Opinions Nov. 18, 2022

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Court of Appeals of Indiana
Roderick V. Lewis v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Reverses Roderick V. Lewis’ 124-year sentence for two counts of felony murder following remand by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. Finds that on remand the Allen Superior Court errantly revised its sentence from 65 years on each count to 62 years for each count. Concludes the sentence imposed by the trial court is inappropriate and remands for resentencing to the advisory term of 55 years on each count to be served consecutively.

Jill McDonald v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Dearborn Superior Court’s order for Jill McDonald to serve one year of her two-year suspended sentence for violating her probation. Finds the court didn’t abuse its discretion in finding her criminal history justifies the sanction. 

Allen F. Hauser, et. al., v. David Hauser (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Affirms partial summary judgment awarded to David Hauser. Finds the unambiguous language of the buy/sell agreement rebuts the presumption that David was an at-will employee of Hauser, Inc. The agreement amounted to a contract of employment regarding David’s employment with Hauser, Inc., and he was entitled to pursue his claims against Hauser Inc.’s shareholders. Concludes that there is no genuine issue of material fact as to the amount of wages that the Hausers wrongfully withheld from David’s pay. Remands to the Porter Superior Court with instructions to calculate an award of appellate attorneys’ fees on that claim, along with the costs of that action.

Thomas Campbell v. Christopher Allen Bauer (mem. dec.)
Small claims. Reverses the default judgment awarded to Christopher Bauer against his landlord Thomas Campbell for damages to his rental unit. Finds the record fails to demonstrate Campbell received adequate notice of the claims against him and remands for a determination as to whether the claim should be dismissed.

Kente Barker v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the grant of summary disposition to the state on Kente Barker’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Barker is collaterally estopped from pursuing the instant petition for relief because his petition is simply an attempt to relitigate the denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus.

Ashley Richey v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Ashley Richey’s conviction for Level 2 felony voluntary manslaughter but remands with instructions to vacate his conviction for Level 3 felony aggravated battery. Finds because the Vigo Superior Court entered judgment on the aggravated battery count, merging the offenses was not enough to resolve the court’s apparent double jeopardy concerns. Finds the trial court acted within its sentencing discretion.

Jeffery Maxwell v. Shirley Maxwell (mem. dec.)
Divorce. Affirms all issues raised by Jeffery Maxwell in his divorce case with Shirley Maxwell except the calculation of the child-support arrearage. Reverses the Hancock Circuit Court’s determination the arrearage should be $10,507.59 and remands for the entry of an arrearage of $8,213.59. 

Gaspar Hernandez v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Gaspar Hernandez’s conviction for Class A misdemeanor domestic battery. Finds Hernandez’s claims fail because the challenged jury instruction is a correct statement of law, the evidence at trial supported giving the instruction, there were no other instructions covering the issue and there is nothing to support his claim that the instruction improperly emphasized particular facts or misled the jury and the trial court properly gave the challenged voluntary intoxication instruction.

Brian L. Meyer v. The Laverne R. and Nancy P. Meyer Revocable Living Trust Dated June 6, 2006, Thomas Meyer, and Jan DeWees (mem. dec.)
Civil plenary. Grants a petition for rehearing for the limited purpose of correcting a statement of fact in the memorandum decision. Finds the COA should have followed the Jasper Superior Court’s finding of fact that the evidence about Thomas Meyer’s offer to DeWees and Brian Meyer on buying a life insurance policy for their parents was disputed and unresolved. Affirms the original judgment and rejects Brian’s other claims.

Aryanna Renee Armstrong v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Aryanna Armstrong’s conviction for Class B misdemeanor battery. Finds Armstrong has failed to prove she received ineffective assistance of counsel.

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