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Monday, November 07, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 4 NFP) [Updated]

For publication opinions today (1):

In Edward J. Dixey v. State of Indiana , a 13-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:

On appeal, Dixey argues that the trial court erred when it refused to give three of his tendered jury instructions, two of which included lesser offenses and the remaining involved statutory interpretation that when general and specific statutes apply to a particular subject matter, the specific statute prevails over the general statute. Additionally, Dixey contends that the trial court erred when it prohibited him from asserting in his closing argument that the State had failed to prove that Dixey had committed theft, but may have proven that he had committed a lesser offense instead. Essentially, Dixey‟s defense was that the lesser offenses were more applicable to the proscribed conduct of which he was accused of engaging.

Although the State has the discretion to charge criminal defendants under the statute it chooses, criminal defendants are nonetheless entitled to present their theory of the case or, in other words, their defense. In this case, the trial court did not err by refusing to give Dixey‟s proposed instructions, inasmuch as they were neither factually-included lesser offenses nor correct statements of the law. Nevertheless, by preventing Dixey from discussing the lesser offenses during closing argument, he was foreclosed from presenting his defense. Consequently, we reverse and remand for a new trial.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

David Burks-Bey v. Tippecanoe County Jail, et al. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (3):

Quintico Goolsby v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Samuel L. Hobbs, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James Henry LaFramboise v. State of Indiana (NFP)

[Updated at 1:51 pm] The COA has posted another opinion:

Christopher Bournique v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 7, 2011 12:18 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions