Rape case halted pending appeal

A man accused of raping a woman last winter is trying again to have his case dismissed.

On June 6, Public Defender Courtney Jones filed an interlocutory appeal on behalf of Rickey D. Haines.

He was charged in December with rape, criminal confinement, domestic battery and strangulation.

Jones’ first motion to dismiss was denied in May. She had argued that police mishandled evidence by returning the victim’s cellphone to her after taking data off it.

The victim told police that Haines had recorded her rape on it, then deleted the video the next morning. Jones said her client has the right to examine the phone.

The victim no longer has the phone, and neither do police. She testified that after police returned it to her, she replaced the screen, erased all content from it and gave it to her father.

While the phone was in their custody, local police asked the Fishers Police Department to perform a forensic analysis of it. Fishers Detective J.D. Floyd testified May 11 that the data is preserved on a server, but nothing of relevance to the case was extracted.

Judge Judith Stewart said the prosecution should have preserved the phone as evidence; however, Jones and Haines have the same ability to view the data as the prosecution does.

Since there was no “bad faith” on the part of the police and since the material on the phone is not evidence that exonerates Haines, there are no grounds for dismissing the case, she ruled.

Jones argued that there is no case law directly pertaining to the “destruction” of a cellphone containing potential evidence.

Public defender Kurt A. Young was appointed to represent Haines in the appeal.

Jones requested that court halt the case for three months or until the appeal has been decided. On June 15, Stewart granted that request.

Another case against Haines will be put on hold pending the outcome of the appeal, as well. In June 2015, Haines was charged with felony criminal recklessness, domestic battery and misdemeanor possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer, invasion of privacy and criminal mischief.

His attorney in that matter is public defender Jacob Moore.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.