Opinions Nov. 28, 2022

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The following 7th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion was posted after IL deadline on Nov. 23:
United States of America v. Bradley M. Cox
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division. Judge Holly A. Brady.
Criminal. Affirms Bradley Cox’s convictions of three counts of extorting people with threats to share their sexually explicit images, two counts of coercing minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct resulting in a visual depiction, and one count of receiving child pornography. Finds Cox didn’t present good cause for failing to comply with the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3)(C) deadline. Also finds the interrogation outside of Cox’s home indicated that Cox was not in custody, and his argument as to the office interview was waived because he failed to object to it before the district court. Finally, finds Cox could still present his defense without two excluded witnesses, his motion for David Kilcline to testify was untimely and the evidence supports his convictions.

Monday opinions
Court of Appeals of Indiana
Nickalas James Kedrowitz v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Nickalas Kedrowitz’s convictions of two counts of murder and his sentence to an aggregate of 100 years. Finds the juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in finding Kedrowitz competent to stand trial or in waiving jurisdiction. Also finds the Ripley Circuit Court had jurisdiction to hear the case following a valid waiver by the juvenile court. Finally, finds the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Kedrowitz, his sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and his character, and he has not made cognizable challenges pursuant to Article 1, Sections 16 and 18 of the Indiana Constitution.

Briana Desha Rice v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms Briana Rice’s convictions of Level 2 felony voluntary manslaughter and Level 5 felony leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death but reverses her conviction of Level 5 felony domestic battery by means of a deadly weapon. Also affirms Rice’s sentence to 20½ years. Finds Rice’s convictions for voluntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death do not violate double jeopardy principles. Also finds Rice’s sentence is not inappropriate. Finally, finds Rice’s conviction for domestic battery resulting in death cannot stand due to a double jeopardy violation. Remands for the Lake Superior Court to vacate the domestic battery conviction.

Bobby N. Truitt, II v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Bobby Truitt II’s aggregate 67-year sentence for his convictions of murder and Level 6 felony abuse of a corpse. Finds Truitt has not shown an abuse of discretion in the Bartholomew Superior Court’s consideration of facts bearing on his sentence.

Jesse Dillard Clark v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Jesse Dillard Clark’s conviction of Level 6 felony possession of a narcotic drug. Finds no federal or state constitutional violation in the impoundment and inventory of the vehicle Clark had driven, so the Marion Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in the admission of the evidence found during the inventory.

Elmer Jones Jay Demoss, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Criminal. Affirms Elmer Jones Jay Demoss Jr.’s convictions of four counts of Class A felony child molesting, two counts of Level 1 felony child molesting and his aggregate 66-year sentence. Finds the Vanderburgh Circuit Court did not commit fundamental error when it permitted Detective Turbin to testify that a sexual assault victim’s delayed disclosure of the assault to authorities was “the norm,” nor did it commit fundamental error when it did not sua sponte sever Demoss’ charges. Also finds the sentence is appropriate in light of Demoss’ character and his offenses.

In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of Com.Q and M.Q. (Minor Children), and C.Q. (father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the termination of father C.Q.’s parental rights to Com.Q. and M.Q. Finds C.Q. waived his due process challenge by failing to raise it in the Vanderburgh Superior Court. Also finds the Department of Child Services produced sufficient evidence to support the termination.

Michael Hooten v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
Post-conviction. Affirms the denial of Michael Hooten’s petition for post-conviction relief. Finds Hooten cannot show that, had his trial counsel moved for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4, the motion would have been granted, so he cannot show that his trial counsel rendered unconstitutionally deficient performance on that issue. Also finds Hooten cannot demonstrate that he was prejudiced by his trial counsel’s failure to move for discharge. Finally, finds Hooten cannot demonstrate that the post-conviction court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief was clearly erroneous.

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