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Koch: Bill With Jackson County Ties Signed By Gov. Holcomb
Updated June 12, 2018 7:01 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(STATEHOUSE) - A bill sponsored by State Sen. Eric Koch (R-Bedford), which adds battery as Levels 2-5 felonies to the statutory definition of "crime of violence," was ceremonially signed into law today by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

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In addition to adding battery offenses to the definition of "crime of violence," House Enrolled Act 1250 also adds bailiffs of any court and special deputies to the statutory list of public safety officers. This will make the penalty for battery charges on a bailiff or special deputy the same as those for battery charges on other officers fulfilling their duties. Previously, simple battery or battery causing physical injury to a bailiff or special deputy would be charged as either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. HEA 1250 increases these to Level 5 or Level 6 felonies.

"HEA 1250 closes a loophole that previously didn't include bailiffs and special deputies on the statutory list of public service officers," Koch said. "When a former court bailiff from Jackson County, Linda McElfresh, contacted me with her personal experience, I knew Indiana law needed a common-sense fix. Bailiffs and special deputies can find themselves in dangerous situations each day on the job, and I am pleased that we were able to align the law with the seriousness of the offense."

McElfresh, a former bailiff and special deputy with Jackson County Superior Court 1, was seriously injured while restraining and removing a combative prisoner from the courtroom in September 2016, and though her injuries led to serious disabilities, the prisoner could only be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. McElfresh joined Gov. Holcomb and Sen. Koch at the ceremonial signing of HEA 1250.

HEA 1250 goes into effect July 1.



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