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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 13 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In Natalie E. Murrell v. State of Indiana , a 9-page opinion, Sr. Judge Barteau writes:

Murrell raises three issues, which we restate as: I. Whether the finder of fact erred by rejecting Murrell’s defense of duress. II. Whether the penalty for Murrell’s Class C felony conviction violates Article I, Section 16 of the Indiana Constitution (“the proportionality clause”). III. Whether the case should be remanded to clarify Murrell’s sentence. * * *

At trial, Murrell conceded that she brought the contraband to the prison to give to Davis. She asserted a defense of duress, claiming that persons unknown to her had called her and threatened her with harm if she did not deliver the contraband to Davis. The trial court determined that Murrell was guilty and subsequently sentenced her to three years on the Class C felony conviction and one year on the Class A misdemeanor conviction, with all but one hundred and eighty days suspended to probation. This appeal followed. * * *

In this case, neither the trial court’s oral sentencing statement nor the written sentencing order identifies any grounds that would support the imposition of consecutive sentences. In the absence of such grounds, the trial court’s oral statement ordering Murrell to serve concurrent sentences is more appropriate. Consequently, we remand with instructions for the trial court to correct its written sentencing order to impose concurrent sentences upon Murrell’s convictions.

In Timothy Long v. State of Indiana, a 7-page opinion, Sr. Judge Sharpnack writes:
Timothy Long appeals his sentence for Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Ind. Code § 9-30-5-2(b) (2001), and being a habitual substance offender, Ind. Code § 35-50-2-10 (2006). We affirm.

Long raises one issue, which we restate as: whether the trial judge erred by rejecting the sentence imposed by the master commissioner who presided at the guilty plea hearing. * * *

On the facts before us, Master Commissioner Hall presided at Long’s guilty plea hearing. Because she did not preside at a criminal trial, she did not have the authority to enter a final judgment on Long’s sentence. Judge Brown therefore did not err by rejecting Master Commissioner Hall’s sentence and imposing her own sentence.

NFP civil opinions today (7):

Kevin Walsh v. Chris Sweeney Construction, Inc. (NFP)

Michael D. Perkinson, Jr. v. Kay Char Perkinson (NFP)

Jennifer Hutchens v. Gregory Sausaman (NFP)

Kenneth W. Gibbs v. Indiana Parole Board (NFP)

Ellettsville Holdings, LLC v. Garnett D. Kinser (NFP)

In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of K.V., and Q.M.S. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

Dwayne Burnett v. Review Board of the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development and Opportunity Enterprises, Inc. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (6):

Anthony Earl Coakley v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jeremiah L. Hancock v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ryan N. Myers v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jameson Curry v. State of Indiana (NFP)

James Roby v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Anthony P. Wamue v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 25, 2012 01:28 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions