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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Ind. Decisions - "Court: Police can keep 51 guns from Spierer-obsessed man"

That is the headline to this Bloomington Herald-Times story today ($$$), reported by Abby Tonsing, about yesterday's COA opinion in Robert E. Redington v. State of Indiana. Some quotes:

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a Monroe County court order that will allow Bloomington police to keep the 51 shotguns, rifles and pistols they confiscated from an Indianapolis man last fall.

In a split 2-1 decision Tuesday, two judges determined Robert Redington to be dangerous as defined by state law and that police can retain his guns. * * *

Under Indiana’s “Laird Law,” people diagnosed with mental illness or people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others can be prohibited from owning guns.

In September, Monroe Circuit Judge Mary Ellen Diekhoff ruled that Redington was dangerous and should not be allowed to possess or use guns, despite his rights under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. She also revoked his license to carry a handgun.

Redington and Carmel-based attorney Guy Relford, whose practice focuses on Second Amendment legal issues, took Diekhoff’s ruling to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Redington v. State was presented to the three judges on June 18.

Judges Elaine Brown and Cale Bradford agreed that Redington presents a danger and Bloomington police have a right under Indiana law to retain his guns.

“The trial court also seems to have given great weight to the ample other evidence relating to Redington’s unstable mental state and behavior, his seemingly unhealthy obsession with the Spierer disappearance, the trial court’s observations of Redington, and the lack of seemingly credible evidence that Redington was complying with the treatment plan established by the mental health professionals treating him,” Bradford wrote in his own opinion.

Judge Patricia Riley disagreed and wrote in a separate opinion that she did not find Redington dangerous as defined by state law.

“However, the State’s evidence, though demonstrating that Redington has a mental illness and possesses numerous firearms, does not give rise to a reasonable belief that he has a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct. It is undisputed that Redington broke no law, committed no violent act, responded peacefully when confronted by police officers, and did not threaten to harm himself or anyone else. His comments to the police, though alarming, erratic, and delusional, do not evince violence or emotional instability,” Riley wrote.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 7, 2013 09:34 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions