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Friday, August 07, 2015

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 4 opinion(s) today (and 14 NFP memorandum decisions)

For publication opinions today (4):

In Keron D. Rodgers v. State of Indiana, a 5-page opinion, Judge May writes:

Keron D. Rodgers appeals the order that he participate in the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program (“VORP”) in lieu of the court conducting a restitution hearing. We reverse and remand. * * *

The legislature has provided, through VORP, a mechanism whereby an offender and victim can meet to negotiate a restitution agreement that is then submitted to the sentencing court. However, the plain language of the statute provides such a meeting can occur “if the accused person or the offender agrees” to do so. Id. Finding no ambiguity in that phrase, we may not interpret it; we instead apply the plain language. In re M.W., 913 N.E.2d at 786. Thus, without the agreement of the offender, VORP cannot be ordered.

[9] Rodgers did not agree to participate in VORP negotiations. We therefore reverse the order that he participate in VORP and remand to the trial court for a restitution hearing. See Iltzsch v. State, 981 N.E.2d 55, 57 (Ind. 2013) (finding proper a remand for restitution hearing).

In Timothy H. Bryant v. State of Indiana , a 13-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:
In 2013, Appellant-Defendant Timothy Bryant owned and operated Summit City North West All Products (“Summit City”), a pawnshop in Fort Wayne, Allen County. Bryant was required by local ordinance to upload records of every item purchased by him or pawned at Summit City to LEADS, an online database established to facilitate the recovery of stolen goods. In September of 2013, authorities received a tip regarding a series of thefts, which led to Isaiah Burnau, who was found to have pawned a stolen chainsaw at another Fort Wayne pawnshop. The investigation soon led to Kristy Coverdale and Tony Haney. As it turned out, several items had been stolen in Wells County and pawned at Summit City and other pawnshops. It was also discovered that none of the items purchased from Isaiah, Coverdale, or Haney had been uploaded to LEADS. Appellee-Plaintiff the State of Indiana charged Bryant in Wells County with several crimes, and he was ultimately convicted of two counts of Class D felony aiding, inducing, or causing receiving stolen property and Class C felony corrupt business influence. Bryant contends that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his mistrial motion based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct and that the State failed to establish venue in Wells County. We affirm. * * *

The upshot of all of this is that, even if we assume that Bryant was unaware that the goods were stolen in Wells County, his ignorance does not shield him from prosecution there. We conclude that the State adequately established proper venue in Wells County.

In Willie D. Williams v. State of Indiana, a 13-page opinion, Chief Judge Vaidik writes:
Willie D. Williams pled guilty to a Class C felony, a Class D felony, a Class A misdemeanor, and being a habitual substance offender; in exchange, the State dismissed a Class B felony and a Class D felony. Although sentencing was left to the discretion of the trial court, the maximum sentence Williams faced under the plea agreement was twenty years; in contrast, he faced a maximum sentence of thirty-two years under the original charges. The trial court ultimately sentenced Williams to an aggregate term of sixteen years.

Williams later filed a petition for post-conviction relief alleging that his plea was not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent because defense counsel misadvised him about whether he was actually eligible for the habitual-substance-offender enhancement. But even assuming that Williams was ineligible for the habitual-substance-offender enhancement, because Williams benefited from his plea agreement and the specific facts do not establish an objective reasonable probability that competent representation would have caused him not to enter a plea, we conclude that Williams is not entitled to relief on his claim that his guilty plea was not knowing, voluntary, and intelligent. We therefore affirm the post-conviction court.

In Newland McElfresh v. State of Indiana , a 9-page opinion, Judge Baker writes:
Newland McElfresh appeals his convictions for Class D Felony Attempted Obstruction of Justice and Class A Misdemeanor Invasion of Privacy, arguing that there is insufficient evidence to support the convictions and that the trial court erred in sentencing him. We find insufficient evidence supporting the attempted obstruction of justice conviction and reverse that conviction. We find insufficient evidence supporting the invasion of privacy conviction and reverse, but find sufficient evidence supporting the lesser-included offense of attempted invasion of privacy. We therefore remand to the trial court with directions to enter judgment against McElfresh on one count of attempted invasion of privacy and to sentence him accordingly.
NFP civil decisions today (5):

In Re the Involuntary Commitment of R.R. v. Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital (mem. dec.)

Danny A. Lucas v. Morgan County Memorial Hospital, Dr. Claire L. Scheele, M.D., and Dr. Murat Polar, M.D. (mem. dec.)

In re the Paternity of William D. Anderson, III; Gierly Perrigo Ingco v. William D. Anderson, Jr. (mem. dec.)

Dena Alfayyad v. U.S. Bank National Assocation as Trustee for RESC2007K3 (mem. dec.)

A.R. v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Housing Authority of the City of Kokomo (mem. dec.)

NFP criminal decisions today (9):

James Dewbrew v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

E.C. Brown v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Anthony D. Dunn v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jeffrey Burns v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Mahouton Dassi v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Delvante Jones v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Jeffery J. Hunt v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Lamar Allen Colley v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Fabian Cruz v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 7, 2015 10:59 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions