Criminal Justice

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/4716903349

The city council in the Daviess County town of Washington is considering expanding the scope of who may issue citations for some ordinance violations.  

Currently, only police officers can issue citations for violating city rules. But that could change.

The proposal would allow the fire department, building commissioner, and animal control officers to hand out violations.

Washington Common Council Member Michael Singleton says the city noticed some police officers were spending a majority of their time on citations.  

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from its original form to include an interview with the lawyer for the accusers.

Purdue University officials and the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office do not plan any further sanctions against four football players accused of sexual assault following an off-campus party earlier this semester.

Purdue Vice President for Strategic Communications Julie Rosa declined a taped interview but issued a statement Wednesday saying the players had been suspended from the team and the investigation was ongoing.

Daniel Messel Will Appeal 80-Year Murder Verdict

Oct 31, 2016
Phil Jern / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjern/5932984588

The man convicted of murdering Indiana University student Hannah Wilson in 2015 has filed a notice asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to review his trial.

The appeal was filed on the same day Daniel Messel was formally charged with attempted rape in a 2012 case.

A judge sentenced him to 80 years in prison for Wilson's murder, but Messel is appealing both the conviction and the sentence.

East Chicago Housing Authority

A federal judge has stepped in to halt the East Chicago Housing Authority's policy of searching tenants' apartments without a warrant or prior notice.

Wednesday's injunction stems from an Indiana ACLU lawsuit in February, months before revelations about high levels of lead in a city housing complex.

ACLU attorney Jan Mensz says the Housing Authority put in its leases it could enter people's apartments without notice for routine inspections -- in theory, things like maintenance.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

This is a story about a house.

But first, some background on how this house, in Lafayette’s Columbian Park neighborhood, came to be this story’s main character.

In February, after months of citizen concern about a crime spike, Lafayette’s police chief held a press conference.

Pat Flannelly talked about the tools at his disposal – everything from squad cars to software.

Scott Davidson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/webhostingreview/

The Lafayette Police Department is working more closely with victims’ advocates to help connect people affected by domestic abuse with support and legal options. Historically, the advocate is summoned by a police officer, but recently, the department has been trying a new approach.

Norah Ashcraft, a YWCA employee who works with domestic violence victims, has had an office inside the Lafayette Police Department since 2015, helping people file protective orders against abusers and giving them information on topics such as counseling and transitional housing.

Daniel Messel To Face Life Sentence In Prison

Sep 21, 2016
Michael Coghlan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/

A Brown County judge will sentence a Bloomington man Thursday for the murder of 22-year-old IU student Hannah Wilson. 

Daniel Messel faces up to 85 years in prison.

A jury convicted Messel in August of murdering Hannah Wilson in April, 2015. Murder in Indiana carries a sentence of 45-65 years.

But, the jury went on to establish Messel as an habitual offender, since he was previously  convicted of at least one other felony.

That adds up to 20 years to his sentence.

Tony Webster / https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/

Indiana’s Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case that challenges whether private university police departments must comply with public records laws.

ESPN requested the records for a report examining how university police departments interact with student athletes.

The University of Notre Dame declined the request, saying it didn’t have to comply because it’s a private institution.

ESPN filed a complaint with the state’s public access counselor before taking the case to court.

ecos systems / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecossystems/15915563685

Indiana’s Supreme Court justices will weigh whether an Indianapolis police officer can sue over what he calls the gun store’s “unlawful actions.”

Indianapolis police officer Dwayne Runnels was shot with a handgun he alleges was purchased at the store KS&E Sports through what’s called a “straw sale.”

The shooter couldn’t legally buy a gun because he was a convicted felon. So another man bought it instead and sold it to the shooter.

janinsanfran / https://www.flickr.com/photos/49399132@N00/

The state will not appeal a federal court’s decision to overturn the conviction of the only Indiana woman charged with feticide for ending her own pregnancy.

In July, a federal court overturned the felony feticide charge for St. Joseph county resident Purvi Patel.

Court documents say Patel was 30 weeks pregnant when she took abortion inducing drugs that she bought online.

In the appeal, Patel’s lawyers argued the feticide law wasn’t applicable because it was intended to protect pregnant women from third parties who end a pregnancy.

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