Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sonia Leerkamp's Madness Continues

Hamilton County residents have less than seven months more of the prosecutorial madness from its long-time county prosecutor, Sonia Leerkamp, and it couldn't end soon enough. If you're wealthy, influential or viewed as part of the in-crowd, Leerkampt turns a blind eye to your criminal actions. If you're an innocent, caring mother from an average family who adopts a baby overseas that turns out to have suffered a serious brain injury, she will cause your other children to be taken away from you and charge you with murder when your infant child dies, even when the testimony of an expert witness tells you the infant had the brain injury when the mother adopted the child months earlier.

Well, do you remember the 19-year-old Purdue student who disappeared after leaving a party in a gated community in Fishers a few months back? He was found a few days later in a retention pond a very short distance from the home where he was attending a party. His blood alcohol level was 0.19, and he tested positive for marijuana. After investigating the case, here's Leerkamp's verdict as reported by WRTV:

Charges will not be filed in connection with the death of a Purdue University student who drowned in a Fishers retention pond.

The body of Patrick Trainor, 19, was found in his car in a pond in the Breakwater subdivision in Fishers on March 24, days after he attended a party in the neighborhood, police said.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp's office had been looking at the possibility of filing charges against the adults who hosted the party, but she told 6News' Joanna Massee on Wednesday that she could not find a crime that fit the circumstances.

Trainor had a 0.19 percent blood-alcohol level before he drowned and had marijuana in his system before his death, the Hamilton County Coroner's Office said.

Hundreds of volunteers spent four days searching for Trainor, who it was later determined had never left the subdivision.
You can't help but wonder if Trainor had left a party held at some working stiff's house instead of a home in a gated community, whether Leerkamp would have thrown the book at the people who hosted the party. Instead, "she could not find a crime that fit the circumstances." Similarly, she refused to bring sex-related charges against the Carmel High School basketball players, who according to the victim, had his clothes removed and was anally penetrated by the perpetrators. "There was conflicting evidence," she said. In another case ten years ago where a freshman swimmer was similarly sexually assaulted by several of his teammates, she said the other kids were "mean to him because he suffered from a learning disability" in explaining the reason she brought no charges in that case. The legal community in this state had better figure out how to get its act together. People, including this attorney, are losing faith in the system.


Blog Admin said...

Gary, can you link to an article about the adoption case?

Her quote on the learning disability, as well as this latest story, show how inept she is. I can't see any law firm actually hiring her after she leaves public office. She better find another line of work.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The case is from over a year ago. I remember reading all about it at the time. I don't have a link to it. You might find it in the Star archives. My guess is that you'll see Leerkamp running for a judge position in the not so distant future. She could always go into practice with David Wyser. She supported him over the former deputy prosecutor in her office who beat Wyser in the primary.

artfuggins said...

Leerkamp only represents the attitude of entitlement and privilege that exists in Carmel.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Okay, I think the 21 year old drinking law is stupid, but Leerkamp can't find a law that would cover adults hosting a party where people under 21 were given alcohol?

Didn't a former athlete get charged for hosting this type of party a couple years ago? It might have been Boone County.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I think you're talking about the Trudeau graduation party for Park Tudor's graduating class where Steve Hilbert ran interference at the door when the police arrived. I think that case blew over without any serious charges. I think he was at least taking keys of the underaged guests at the door to prevent anyone from drinking and driving unsafely.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Great thanks for your strong call for the legal community in Indiana, to get its act together. Have you seen the list of attorneys that the Indpls. Bar Assn. applauded and used as 'faculty' to teach selected young people to be devoted to integrity and dedicated to the practice of law this year? Many of the names are those you have noted here, are lacking in both areas. Makes you want to holler!

guido said...

Wasnt it a decatur twp dad and the football player that got in a wreck after a party

Indy4U2C said...

Perhaps I can help Leerkamp: Contributing to Delinquency is a CLASS C FELONY if over 21 furnish alcohol or marijuana to a child under 18 IC 35-46-1-8.

It is a misdemeanor to furnish alcohol to person under 21 IC 7.1-5-7-8.

It is INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER to aid, abet, or induce the killing of another while committing a class A misdemeanor that inherently poses a risk of serious bodily injury.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Check out the comments Leerkamp made to WTHR. She says the parents of the kids who hosted the party can't be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor because the law only applies to licensed alcohol businesses:

"There were indications that there was a parental presence during the periods of time that we were looking at," said Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp.

The prosecutors say that, after a thorough investigation, she decided not to file charges in the case, primarily because Trainor was over 18.

Officials say that the family that hosted the party couldn't be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, because laws pertaining to alcohol service for people between 18 and 21 apply to businesses like restaurants, bars and liquor stores that have a license. While they didn't break the law, the family made a poor choice.

"It was the wrong thing to do," said Leerkamp.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Here's the law Leerkamp references. It does not limit its applicability to businesses:

IC 7.1-5-7-8
Sales to minors prohibited
Sec. 8. (a) It is a Class B misdemeanor for a person to recklessly,

knowingly, or intentionally sell, barter, exchange, provide, or furnish an alcoholic beverage to a minor.
(b) However, the offense described in subsection (a) is:
(1) a Class A misdemeanor if the person has a prior unrelated conviction under this section; and
(2) a Class D felony if the consumption, ingestion, or use of the alcoholic beverage is the proximate cause of the serious bodily injury or death of any person.
(c) This section shall not be construed to impose civil liability upon any postsecondary educational institution, including public and private universities and colleges, business schools, vocational schools, and schools for continuing education, or its agents for injury to any person or property sustained in consequence of a violation of this section unless such institution or its agent sells, barters, exchanges, provides, or furnishes an alcoholic beverage to a minor.