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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ind. Decisions - Probation sentencing subject of Supreme Court opinion today

In Russell Prewitt v. State of Indiana, a 7-page, 5-0 opinion, Chief Justice Shepard writes:

The question here is whether the provisions of the Indiana Code governing probation violations permit a trial judge to order execution of one portion of a previously suspended sentence and continuation of another portion as probation under modified terms. We hold that such a disposition is within a court’s statutory authority. The appropriate standard to apply when reviewing a sentence imposed for a probation violation is abuse of discretion. * * *

After the trial court found that Prewitt had violated his probation, it ordered that he serve two years of his previously suspended sentence and that he receive post-incarceration treatment at Richmond State Hospital as a new condition of probation.

On appeal, Prewitt argues that the trial court did not have authority both to execute a portion of his previously suspended sentence and to modify the conditions of probation. The Court of Appeals agreed and reversed, directing that Prewitt be resentenced. Prewitt v. State, 865 N.E.2d 669 (Ind. Ct. App. 2007). We granted transfer. * * *

Given Prewitt’s multiple probation violations, past criminal history, and unwillingness or inability to complete the halfway house program, the trial court acted well within its discretion to order him to serve two years of his previously suspended sentence and to receive treatment at Richmond State Hospital.

Conclusion. For the above reasons, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 18, 2007 01:15 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions