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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ind. Decisions - "Appeals court overturns Patricia Tackett convictions"

Yesterday's Not-for-Publication opinion in the case of Patricia A. Tackett v. State of Indiana (NFP) is the subject of a story today in the Muncie Star-Press, reported by Douglas Walker. The long story begins:

MUNCIE -- A state appeals court on Monday overturned the convictions of a Muncie woman who had been accused of helping her husband repeatedly sexually abuse a mentally challenged woman in their care.

Patricia Ann Tackett, now 50, was found guilty of rape, sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation by a Delaware Circuit Court 1 jury last July. She was later sentenced to 40 years in prison by Judge Marianne Vorhees.

In its 3-0 ruling on Monday, the appeals court overturned Tackett's convictions not on the basis that her crimes did not occur, but on the grounds that prosecutors did not prove they took place in the state of Indiana.

More from the story:
"A person may be convicted of a crime in Indiana if either the conduct, the result that is an element of the offense, or both, occurred in Indiana," appellate judges L. Mark Bailey, Ezra H. Friedlander and Elaine B. Brown wrote in their ruling.

Patricia Tackett's videotaped statement to police, shown to the jury that convicted her, "does not establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that the charged offenses occurred in Indiana," the panel ruled.

Delaware County Prosecutor Jeffrey Arnold said Monday that he had "studied this (ruling) and I don't understand it."

"You can't imagine how deeply disappointed I am in this decision," said Arnold, who prosecuted the Tacketts with his predecessor as prosecutor, Mark McKinney. "I'm not going to just accept it on its face."

Arnold said he would work with the state attorney general's office to ask that the appeals court review its decision, or that the case be transferred to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 17, 2011 11:27 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions