Justices to consider resisting law enforcement convictions stemming from fatal crash


IL for www.theindianalawyer.com

A man who killed three people while driving the wrong way down Interstate 69 as he fled from police will make his case to the Indiana Supreme Court this week as to why he should not be convicted of three counts of resisting law enforcement in relation to each of his victims.

In the case of Brian Paquette v. State of Indiana, 63S04-1709-CR-570, Brian Paquette was under the influence methamphetamine and was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of I-69 when a police officer began pursuing him. To evade the officer, Paquette crossed the median, began driving southbound in the northbound lanes, and caused a three-car collision. Autumn Kapperman and her unborn child, Jason Lowe, and Stephanie Molinet were each killed in the accident.

Paquette pleaded guilty to multiple crimes, including three counts of resisting law enforcement – one count for each of the victims. However, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed two of those convictions after finding that he committed only one act of resisting law enforcement that resulted in three deaths. According to his appellate briefs, Paquette will urge the high court to affirm that reversal during oral arguments at 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

Immediately prior to Paquette’s oral arguments, the justices will hear the case of Shelly Phipps v. State of Indiana, 28S05-1707-CR-499. In that case, Shelly Phipps’ pastor, K.G., obtained a protective order against her in 2008, yet she continued to try to communicate with him through letters and by sending emails to the church’s elders

As a result, Phipps was convicted of invasion of privacy, but a divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed that conviction in May, citing insufficient evidence. Judge Rudolph Pyle dissented.

Arguments in Phipps’ case will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the high court will hear the case of Darryl Calvin v. State of Indiana, 02S03-1709-CR-611, in which Darryl Calvin was convicted of Level 4 felony burglary and was found to be a habitual offender based on a prior unrelated felony conviction in Illinois. The Court of Appeals rejected Calvin’s appellate argument that the state failed to establish that at least one of his prior unrelated felonies “is not a Level 6 felony or a Class D felony,” as required by Indiana Code 35-50-2-8(b). He will make his case before the Supreme Court at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.