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Friday, November 30, 2007

Ind. Decisions - "Supreme Court reduces ex-Muncie man's sentence"

Reporting on the Supreme Court's Nov. 28th decision in In Aaron Reid v. State of Indiana (ILB entry here), a story today in the Muncie Star Press begins:

ANDERSON -- The Indiana Supreme Court this week provided an early Christmas gifts of sorts for convicted felon Aaron D. Reid -- trimming his 2006 sentence for trying to arrange the slayings of his wife and mother-in-law from 50 to 30 years.

Reid, now 24, was being held in the Madison County jail on misdemeanor battery charges in January 2006 when he asked other inmates whether they knew someone who would be willing to kill his wife.

An inmate put him in touch with a Madison County police deputy who posed as a hit man. After a phone conversation, Reid sent the deputy a photograph of his wife and their infant daughter, along with a description of her vehicle and directions to her home in Parker City.

The former Muncie resident also hoped to have his mother-in-law killed, authorities said.

A Madison Superior Court 3 jury found Reid guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in March 2006. The following month, Judge Thomas Newman Jr. imposed a maximum 50-year sentence, despite pleas for leniency for Reid's wife, who said her husband needed "constant counseling," not a lengthy prison term.

In a 5-0 ruling released Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered Newman to reduce Reid's prison term to 30 years, the standard sentence for a class A felony conviction.

"If the facts had really been as Reid perceived them, his wife and mother-in-law would have been murdered," Chief Justice Randall Shepard wrote in the opinion. "Still, considering all the circumstances, we cannot say Reid is one of the worst offenders deserving of the maximum sentence."

Shepard suggested Reid's "mental health problems may have made him an easy target" to become involved in the bogus murder-for-hire scheme with his fellow inmate-turned-informant and the undercover officer.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 30, 2007 09:48 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions