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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 opinion(s) today (and 8 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Erica L. Jackson v. State of Indiana , an 11-page opinion, Judge Bailey writes:

Jackson did not deny that the acts charged by the State were committed. She claimed that another individual was the perpetrator. As there was no controversy regarding whether a lesser offense was committed while a greater offense was not, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by refusing the instruction. * * *

Jackson claims that the trial court abused its discretion by admitting State’s Exhibits 5 and 6 and related testimony because Jackson’s photograph was a higher quality close-up causing her features to be more distinguishable than those of the women in jail intake photographs. * * * Here, our examination of the photo array does not lead to the conclusion that the distinction identified by Jackson is critical such as to likely lead to misidentification. Each of the photographs is of sufficient clarity to allow an examination of facial features. * * *

Jackson did not establish that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing her proffered instruction, nor did Jackson establish that the trial court abused its discretion in the admission of evidence.

In Tiras D. Johnson v. State of Indiana , a 9-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:
Tiras Johnson (“Johnson”) appeals the Madison Circuit Court’s revocation of his probation and argues that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion to suppress evidence seized during a warrantless search of his friend’s residence. * * *

For all of these reasons, we conclude that the trial court acted within its discretion when it admitted evidence that the officers discovered a large quantity of marijuana in Johnson’s backpack when they executed the search warrant. Therefore, we affirm the trial court’s order denying Johnson’s motion to suppress and finding that he violated his probation.

In Michael Whittaker v. State of Indiana, a 7-page opinion, Sr. Judge Darden writes:
Michael Whittaker appeals his sentence for his conviction of theft, a Class D felony, Indiana Code section 35-43-4-2 (2009), and his adjudication as an habitual offender, Indiana Code section 35-50-2-8 (2005). We affirm.

Whittaker presents one issue for our review, which we restate as: whether the savings clause of the 2014 criminal code revision violates the Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution. * * *

Specifically, he argues that the savings clause improperly prohibits the ameliorative sentencing statutes of the new criminal code to apply to certain offenders, including himself. * * *

Whittaker argues that the savings clause unconstitutionally created two classes of offenders: those who committed their offenses before the new criminal code went into effect on July 1, 2014 but were sentenced after that date and those who committed their offenses after the July 1, 2014 effective date. He maintains that the date of the offense is not reasonably related to any inherent characteristic that distinguishes the two classes. * * *

Whittaker, in an act of free will, selected his offense date as August 31, 2013, thereby choosing to commit theft as a Class D felony subject to a sentence of six months to three years. See Ind. Code §§ 35-43-4-2(a), 35-50-2-7(a). By doing so, he differentiated himself from those offenders who committed the offense of theft after July 1, 2014. Thus, we find that Whittaker is not similarly situated to those defendants who committed offenses after July 1, 2014, and, therefore, he has no viable equal privileges and immunities claim.

NFP civil decisions today (1):

In re: The Adoption of A.S.B., S.B. v. K.E. (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (7):

Jonte Twan Crawford v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jessica Cundari v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Tony R. Johnson, Jr. v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Tyler Michael Cottrell v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Cleverly P. Lockhart v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Elyse S. Barnfield v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Roy G. Dinwiddie v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 20, 2015 10:09 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions