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Court of Appeals, Southern District

Criminal Law: Juvenile Delinquency- Criminal Offenses- Standard of Proof

Minor appealed the trial court’s adjudication of delinquency finding him guilty “by clear, cogent and convincing evidence” of acts that would have been crimes if committed by an adult. On appeal, minor argued that the trial court failed to apply ...

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Insurance: Breach of Contract- Failure to Notify- Indemnification

Defendant canceled a homeowners’ Insurance policy for nonpayment and notified LexisNexis of the cancellation, pursuant to an agreement to notify mortgagees of actions taken against defendant’s policies. When the formerly insured home suffered a fire, the mortgagee filed suit, arguing ...

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Criminal Law: Unlawful Possession of a Weapon- Sufficiency of Evidence- Verdict Prior to Closing Argument

Defendant was arrested when she, a prior felon, was a passenger in a vehicle containing loaded firearms. Defendant moved for judgment of acquittal, claiming the weapons were in the vehicle when her husband purchased them and that she had only ...

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Criminal Law: Murder- Suppression of Confession- Jury Viewing of Documentary Evidence

Defendant admitted to his wife and sister that he had killed one of his tenants. Defendant’s sister notified police, who arrested defendant. After prodding from his wife, defendant detailed the murder to police. Based on those statements, a jury convicted ...

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Criminal Law: Distribution of Controlled Substance- Setting Aside Conviction- Abandonment of Counsel

Defendant was convicted of distribution, delivery, manufacture, or production of a controlled substance and of keeping or maintaining a public nuisance. Appointed counsel filed an untimely amended motion to set aside defendant’s conviction. Where counsel’s untimely motion raised a presumption ...

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Criminal Law: Statutory Rape- Jury Observation of Defendant- Defendant’s Demeanor as Evidence

Defendant was charged with statutory sodomy and statutory rape. During trial, a juror asked the trial court to reposition defendant to observe his demeanor. Defense counsel obliged to the request. On appeal, defendant argued that the trial court committed plain ...

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Criminal Law: Murder- Suppression of Confession- Jury Viewing of Documentary Evidence

Where defendant initiated his confessions and was not subject to police coercion, and further understood his Miranda rights, trial court properly denied defendant’s motion to suppress his confessions. The trial court did not err in allowing the jury viewing of ...

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Criminal Law: Distribution of Controlled Substance- Setting Aside Conviction- Abandonment of Counsel

Where counsel’s untimely motion raised a presumption of abandonment, the trial court’s failure to conduct a Moore abandonment inquiry required reversal and remand of the denial of defendant’s motion. Judgment is reversed and remanded. Oliphant v. State (MLW No. 72212/Case ...

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