Law and Criminal Justice

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 / 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.

Hundreds Join Indy Black Lives Matter Protest

Jul 11, 2016
Michelle Johnson

Organizers of a Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday in Indianapolis called on white allies to stand with them in the fight for justice and police reforms.

The protest at the Statehouse was one of dozens around the nation after a week that included police killings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana, and a sniper attack that killed five white officers at a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas, Texas.

Since it began three years ago, after the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin three years ago, white people have joined the movement in increasing numbers.

Lafayette Police Department

At the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, Lafayette leaders announced several initiatives aimed at stemming the drug use that fuels a significant portion of the major crimes committed in the city.

Through six months of the year, crime is down about three percent from the first half of 2015, though still well above levels from 2010 and 2011.

Arthur LeBon / https://www.flickr.com/photos/arthur_lebon/21028418400

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case concerning whether private university police departments must comply with public records laws.

The lawsuit came after the University of Notre Dame Security Police refused to hand over records for an ESPN report examining how campus police interact with student athletes.

ESPN took the university to court, arguing that although it’s a private institution, Notre Dame’s police department is a public entity authorized by the state.

VIEVU / http://www.vievu.com/

Changes could be coming to Indiana’s new police body camera footage law – even though it just took effect Friday.

Lawmakers spent months over the last year negotiating the fine details of a law governing how and when police body camera footage should be released.

The final product requires police to prove why video should not be released, rather than put the burden of proof on the public.

It was a compromise supported by both the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police and the Hoosier Press Association.

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