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Monday, January 21, 2013

Ind. Courts - More on "Blogger Jailed; Allegedly Threatened Dearborn Judge"

Updating this ILB entry from April 28, 2011, the COA on Jan. 17th, in a 44-page opinion, Daniel Brewington v. State of Indiana, ruled on an appeal of Mr. Brewington's conviction.

Today EagleCounty 99.3 has a report on the opinion, in a story headed "Jailed Blogger Wins Part of Appeal, Still Serving 5 Years." Some quotes:

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - An Internet blogger convicted of intimidating a Dearborn County judge has seen part of his conviction overturned, but it won’t affect his time behind bars.

Dan Brewington took to the Internet to voice his displeasure with how Dearborn Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey handled his 2008 divorce and child custody case. He also partly blamed court appointed custody evaluator Dr. Edward Connor in the events chronicled at his Blogger site and www.DanHelpsKids.com.

Brewington was eventually charged and arrested for some of the jabs he wrote. During a 2011 jury trial presided over by Judge Brian Hill from Rush County, the Cincinnati Ohio resident was convicted of Intimidation of a Judge, Attempt to Commit Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, and two lesser counts of Intimidation. Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard had convinced jurors that Brewington’s criticism went beyond political speech and crossed the line to “fighting words.”

Following the conviction, Brewington appealed his conviction to the Indiana Court of Appeals, arguing five points: the court allegedly abused its discretion by impaneling an anonymous jury, that Hill erred by admitting a custody evaluation and a divorce decree into evidence, the intimidation and obstruction of justice convictions were double jeopardy, whether the evidence was sufficient for convictions, and that the court’s final jury instructions were erroneous.

Oral arguments were held last November. On Thursday, January 17, the Court of Appeals issued a ruling vacating Brewington’s convictions for the two lesser intimidation charges. Those related to Judge Humphrey’s wife, Heidi, and Dr. Connor. The Connor intimidation conviction violated the double jeopardy rule, Judge Carr L. Darden wrote in the decision. * * *

With the help of his family, Brewington has continued to blog from prison. He has entries on his blog site as recent as January 6.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 21, 2013 02:36 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions