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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 10 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Ryan E. Bean v. State of Indiana , a 19-page opinion reversing the trial court, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:

After this Court reversed Ryan E. Bean’s Class A felony child-molesting conviction, Bean was retried and convicted a second time. He received a thirty-year sentence. On appeal, Bean argues that fundamental error occurred at his retrial. Bean’s retrial, which turned on the uncorroborated testimony of the alleged child victim, was tainted by vouching testimony and troubling prosecutorial misconduct, making a fair trial impossible. We therefore reverse. * * *

We are mindful of our Supreme Court’s recent caution that the fundamental-error doctrine is meant to correct only the most egregious trial errors. See Ryan, 9 N.E.3d at 668. But Ryan involved only one instance of prosecutorial misconduct, and the evidence against the defendant was overwhelming. Here, we have two instances of prosecutorial misconduct—one of which is particularly troubling—and significant vouching testimony. By eliciting testimony about Bean’s pretrial interview, the prosecutor did not merely stumble into error; despite being warned, he defied the trial court’s instructions. In addition, two key witnesses—the alleged victim’s mother and the DCS investigator—vouched for the alleged victim’s credibility and invaded the province of the jury. The prosecutor reinforced this vouching testimony in closing argument, telling the jurors that numerous other people believed the alleged victim and suggesting that they should as well. Notably, unlike Ryan, Bean’s retrial hinged on the uncorroborated testimony of the alleged victim. For these reasons, Bean was denied a fair trial.

NFP civil opinions today (3):

Martin's Markets, Inc., Dale Martin and Alisa Martin v. Coonie's Corner, LLC (NFP)

In Re: The Petition of John Oberleas for Issuance of Tax Deed, Tax Sale Certificates #801063, 801066, 801067, 801068, Parcel No. 006-00168-00; 006-01232-00; 006-01233-00; 006-01234-00; et al (NFP)

Mark Keaton v. Christine L. Zook (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (7):

Richard Dodd v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Charles Gaylor v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Jaime Miguel Cordero v. State of Indiana (NFP)

William Hodapp, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Grover E. Lowe v. State of Indiana (NFP)

John Hollins v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Joshua W. Doughty v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 29, 2014 12:56 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions