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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court to hear arguments re sentencing in case where defendant pleaded guilty but mentally ill

In a direct appeal, the Supreme Court on August 7, 2006, set oral arguments in the case of Frankie Salyer for October 3, 2006. The AP reports today:

GOSHEN (AP) — The Indiana Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a man sentenced to life in prison for the 1998 killing of a Goshen police officer.

If Frankie Salyers, 27, wins the appeal, he could face a sentence of 45 to 65 years in prison, rather than the current life term he's serving at the Indiana State Prison.

The Indiana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on his appeal Oct. 3 at the court's Statehouse chambers in Indianapolis. * * *

Salyers' appeal attorney, Greg Kauffman, asked the state Supreme Court to review the sentence, citing his client's severe mental problems.

Salyers, who killed Goodwin on Dec. 11, 1998, told police that day he was trying to commit "suicide by cop." In early 1999, Duffin found Salyers incompetent to stand trial because of his mental problems.

He spent the next six years in the state hospital in Logansport until he improved enough to assist in his defense. Salyers pleaded guilty but mentally ill in January 2005 in a deal that meant prosecutors would not ask for the death penalty.

The state Supreme Court originally asked Duffin for a more detailed list of the findings that led to the life sentence. After Duffin filed that list, Kauffman continued with the appeal.

Here is the case description from the Court's calendar:
Frankie Salyers was charged with the murder of Goshen Police Officer Thomas Goodwin. Salyers entered a plea of “guilty but mentally ill,” and the terms of his plea agreement provided the State would withdraw its request for the death penalty and the parties would be free to argue the appropriate length of sentence. Following the sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Appellant to life imprisonment without parole. Salyers appeals his sentence directly to the Indiana Supreme Court per Indiana Appellate Rule 4(A)(1)(a). Attorney Salyers; Gregory Kauffman of South Bend, IN. Attorney for State; George Sherman of Indianapolis, IN.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 23, 2006 02:52 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions