Top Juvenile Justice Lawyer and Advocate Joins the Case of the Elkhart 4


As we have already reported the Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus curiae in support of the appeals of Levi Sparks and Blake Layman. The Court of Appeals for Indiana approved this week an amendment to the amicus curiae submitted by the Juvenile Law Center in support of Layman and Sparks. What is … [Read more...]

Appeals Update #4 — The Juvenile Law Center Asks to Join the Appeals


The Juvenile Law Center has submitted an amici curiae in the appeals of Blake Layman and Levi Sparks.  As we mentioned yesterday an "amici curiae" is when a "person or group who is not a party to a lawsuit, but has a strong interest in the matter, will petition the court for permission to submit a … [Read more...]

Elkhart 4 Appeals Update #2


Friday January 24, 2014 was an active day in the appeals of 2 of the Elkhart 4.  A number of important decisions were made in the appeals of Levi Sparks and Blake Layman. The most important decision that was made was that the appeals for Blake Layman and Levi Sparks have been joined together to … [Read more...]

Constitutional Issues Raised By The Case of The Elkhart 4


In previous articles we have looked at the text of the Indiana Felony Murder Rule.  Specifically, our article Is Curtis Hill Using the Case of The Elkhart 4 to Expand the Felony Murder Rule in Indiana, focuses on this law.  In that article we stressed our concern with the ambiguous wording of the … [Read more...]

Twitter Goes Crazy as The Dr. Phil Episode on The Elkhart 4 is Taped

Dr. Phil

There was heated debate and strong messages of support on Twitter as a special episode of The Dr. Phil show was filmed in California.  The episode which focuses on the felony murder convictions of Blake Layman, Levi Sparks, Anthony Sharp and Jose Quiroz should air soon.  We will keep you … [Read more...]



In December 2011, 18 year old Dakota Givens and 18-year-old James Sands decided to break into a store in Weirton West Virginia.  The two teens adjusted the store security cameras to prevent recording of their illegal entry into the building.  Dakota Givens was half way through the window when the … [Read more...]

Déjà Vu — Another Similar Case, Another Different Result


Here is another startling example of how the harshness of the prosecution in The Elkhart 4 case is not reflective of other similar cases nation wide.  Thanks to Steve Drizin for letting us know about this case.  If anyone knows of other examples of similar cases please let us know by using the … [Read more...]

The Elkhart 4 Goes National — Thanks Huffington Post


A fantastic editorial about The Elkhart 4 hit the national press today.  We are really excited to see the story gaining national attention.  Click here to read the editorial written by law professor Steve Drizin from the Northwestern University School of Law.  (We here at … [Read more...]

One Year On — Three Questions Curtis Hill Does Not Want Us Asking


It has been exactly one year since the case of The Elkhart 4 began.  On October 3, 2012 Blake Layman (age 16) Jose Quiroz (age 16), Anthony Sharp (age 18) and Danzele Johnson (age 21) decided to break into a house in the middle of the afternoon.  They knocked on doors and found a house where no one … [Read more...]

Is Curtis Hill Using the Case of The Elkhart 4 To Expand the Felony Murder Rule in Indiana?


On Thursday September 12, 2013 Elkhart County Judge Terry Shewmaker sentenced Levi Sparks to 50 years in prison.  Blake Layman and Anthony Sharp both got 55 years in prison.  Charged under Indiana’s controversial felony murder rule these teens (Layman and Sparks were both under 18 at the time of the … [Read more...]


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