« December 20, 2012 | Main | December 24, 2012 »

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ind. Courts - "David Camm's lawyers hint at defense in third murder trial"

A lengthy story by Grace Schneider posted this evening on the Louisville Courier Journal website.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, December 21, 2012
Posted to Indiana Courts

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 5 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Kenneth S. Tipton v. State of Indiana , a 13-page opinion, Judge May writes:

Kenneth Tipton was convicted of Class C felony criminal recklessness; Class D felony dealing in marijuana; and being an habitual offender after he shot at a house during a standoff with police. He argues on appeal the evidence was insufficient to convict him of criminal recklessness because that offense requires proof there was a risk of injury to a person, but nobody was in the house when he shot at it. We affirm. * * *

As explained above, we believe someone shooting a gun at a residence may, for purposes of a criminal recklessness prosecution, create a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person even if the resident is away from home at the moment of the shooting. We must accordingly affirm Tipton’s conviction.

In Patrick Austin v. State of Indiana , a 16-page opinion, Judge May writes:
Patrick Austin appeals his conviction of and sentence for two counts of possession of cocaine as Class A felonies. Austin argues: the trial court erred by denying his motion for discharge under Criminal Rule 4; the trial court abused its discretion by admitting contested evidence; the trial court abused its discretion by rejecting his tendered jury instruction regarding constructive possession; and the sentence assigned by the trial court was both an abuse of discretion and inappropriate based on Austin’s character and offenses. We affirm.
In Steven E. Malloch v. State of Indiana , a 39-page opinion, Sr. Judge Sharpnack writes:
Steven E. Malloch appeals his conviction for Class A felony child molesting, Ind. Code § 35-42-4-3(a)(1) (1998), for an incident involving his stepdaughter. We affirm.
NFP civil opinions today (1):

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of B.W., Minor Child; R.C., Father v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (4):

Charles D. Stutz v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Michael R. Anderson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Joseph Lamar Johnson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Anthony K. McCullough v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, December 21, 2012
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Auditors find accuracy and technology problems in state tax dept., follows $526M in errors"

Updating this ILB entry from Dec. 17th, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette editorial today is titled "Heed advice on revenue errors." Some quotes:

Experts from Deloitte, a financial consulting firm, concluded the state agency placed so much emphasis on processing tax returns quickly that it compromised accuracy, resulting in errors state officials are still working to fix. * * *

Lesley Weidenbener of the Franklin College Statehouse news bureau noted that, on several occasions, Daniels had lauded the agency for its quick processing of tax returns.

“But the report said the agency’s strategic focus on cutting the time and cost of handling income tax returns meant ‘support areas such as information systems management and financial accounting and reporting appear to have been a lower priority for the organization,’ ” Weidenbener wrote.

The good news is that, under new leadership and with the addition of more than 20 top-level managers, the accounting mistakes have been corrected and no additional, significant errors were found. Auditors, however, noted the state is not using the integrated software system that might prevent problems.

“The issues identified did not arise overnight; neither will they be fixed overnight,” Deloitte’s Kathie Schwerdtfeger told budget officials. “Many of the issues are complex and will require a significant investment of time and resources to address, while others may be able to be addressed quickly. The task of evaluating, prioritizing and remediating these issues will be great, especially in light of other competing priorities and sustaining day-to-day operations.”

One of those priorities should be a switch to the integrated software system cited by Deloitte. Revenue Commissioner Mike Alley said he had considered buying one but estimated it could cost $50 million.

While it’s a hefty expenditure, $50 million spent certainly is preferable to $526 million lost. In fact, a more efficient software system seems like an obvious priority for that additional $1.28 billion in the rosy revenue forecast.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, December 21, 2012
Posted to Indiana Government

Ind. Law - "Indiana law already allows teachers to carry guns"

That is the headline to this AP story by Charles Wilson that appeared in many state papers yesterday and today. It begins:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — While legislators in other states are wrestling with the idea of allowing teachers to carry guns in school, experts say Indiana law already allows it.

The idea has gained traction following the school shooting in Connecticut.

Experts say in Indiana, anyone appointed as a school security guard can carry a gun on school property. But attorney Guy Relford says the law applies to anyone authorized by the school.

The ILB cited the statute, IC 35-47-9, Dec. 19th in this entry.

Sec. 2 provides:

A person who possesses a firearm:
(1) in or on school property; (2) in or on property that is being used by a school for a school function; or
(3) on a school bus;
commits a Class D felony.
As added by P.L.140-1994, SEC.11.
Sec. 1 of the law, however, contains exceptions:
This chapter does not apply to the following:
(1) A:
(A) federal;
(B) state; or
(C) local;
law enforcement officer.

(2) A person who has been employed or authorized by:

(A) a school; or
(B) another person who owns or operates property being used by a school for a school function;
to act as a security guard, perform or participate in a school function, or participate in any other activity authorized by a school.

(3) A person who:

(A) may legally possess a firearm; and
(B) possesses the firearm in a motor vehicle that is being operated by the person to transport another person to or from a school or a school function.
As added by P.L.140-1994, SEC.11.
Some (including perhaps a school's insurer) might not read it as perfectly clear that Indiana law already authorizes allowing teachers to carry guns in school as a matter of course.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on Friday, December 21, 2012
Posted to Indiana Law