Opinions Oct. 20, 2021

The following Indiana Supreme Court opinion was posted after IL deadline Tuesday:
Walter Griffin, Jr. and Candus Griffin v. Menard Inc. and Briggs Plumbing Products, LLC
21S-CT-119
Civil tort. Affirms the Elkhart Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in the premises-liability case for Menards. Finds Menards had no constructive or actual knowledge of any issues with the defective box that led to Walter Griffin Jr. being injured. Also finds no issue of material fact. Dismisses the claim of res ipsa loquitur. Justice Christopher Goff dissents with separate opinion.

Wednesday opinions
Indiana Court of Appeals
Gerald Pinkston v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
20A-CR-2216
Criminal. Affirms Gerald Pinkston’s convictions of three counts of murder and one count of criminal recklessness, and his sentence to an aggregate of 166 years. Finds Pinkston failed to demonstrate reversible error resulting from the admission of a .40 caliber handgun and testimony by a detective, the Allen Superior Court’s accomplice liability instructions or the deputy prosecutor’s conduct. Also finds the state proved the offenses beyond a reasonable doubt and that Pinkston’s sentence is not inappropriate considering his offenses and character. 

Jeb N. McGeorge v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-787
Criminal. Affirms the Dearborn Superior Court’s 20-year aggregate sentence, with 18 years in prison, for Jeb N. McGeorge for Level 4 felony operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance causing death and Level 4 felony operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance causing serious bodily injury. Finds McGeorge failed his burden of establishing his sentence is inappropriate.

Bryant E. Wilson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-101
Criminal. Affirms Bryant E. Wilson’s convictions of two counts of Level 3 felony robbery and his sentence to 32 years. Finds both robbery convictions are supported by sufficient evidence. Also finds Wilson’s sentence is not an outlier requiring revision.

Desmond Johnson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-157
Criminal. Affirms Desmond Johnson’s 15-year sentencing for Level 2 felony burglary. Finds Johnson did not waive the right to appellate review of his sentencing challenge, but that he failed to establish an abuse of discretion.

Demarcus Antoine Nelson v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-445
Criminal. Affirms Demarcus Antoine Nelson’s conviction of Level 5 felony domestic battery. Finds the Marion Superior Court didn’t abuse its discretion in overruling Nelson’s objections and in admitting an officer’s arrest report.

Paul Ross v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)
21A-CR-898
Criminal. Affirms Paul Ross’ convictions for child molesting as Level 4 felonies. Finds the St. Joseph Superior Court didn’t err in allowing child E.C. to testify on three separate occasions, and any danger of unfair prejudicial impact to Ross was minimal. Also finds Ross did not demonstrate fundamental error in the prosecutor’s closing argument.

In the Matter of: I.A. (Child) and D.A. (Mother) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
21A-JC-910
Juvenile CHINS. Affirms the adjudication of mother D.A.’s son, I.A., as a child in need of services. Finds the Jefferson Circuit Court’s order was supported by sufficient evidence.

In the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of: E.C. (Minor Child) and M.D. (Mother) & T.C. (Father) v. Indiana Department of Child Services (mem. dec.)
21A-JT-785
Juvenile termination of parental rights. Affirms the Johnson Circuit Court’s termination of the parental rights of mother M.C. and father T.C. for child E.C. Finds the parents weren’t entitled to a jury trial. Also finds the juvenile court applied the appropriate standard of proof. Finally, finds the evidence clearly and convincingly supports the termination.

Daniel S. McCain and Joseph D. DeRozier v. Stephen J. Presley (mem. dec.)
21A-MI-567
Miscellaneous. Affirms a modified final judgment entered on remand in a dispute between neighboring landowners. Finds Joseph DeRozier and Daniel McCain’s respective claims of adverse possession have been defeated, exclusive possession and ownership by Stephen Presley of the strips known as the Dog Run and the Flower Bed has been judicially recognized, and Presley has the right to remove structures and improvements from these strips of land for the full enjoyment of his property if he so wishes. Also finds Presley is permitted to retain a licensed surveyor to create new legal descriptions, consistent with the final order, of his and DeRozier’s properties to reflect Presley’s ownership of the third tract.

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