« Ind. Decisions - Tax Court posts 2, filed April 24th | Main | Ind. Courts - "Success of Self Help Center in Clark County celebrated" »

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 0 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Marvin Garner v. State of Indiana, an 8-paage opinion, Judge Pyle writes:

Marvin Garner (“Garner”) appeals his aggregate sentence of sixty years for his convictions for four counts of Class A felony child molesting. We affirm.

Issue. Whether Garner’s sentence is inappropriate pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B). * * *

On appeal, Garner asks that we revise his sentence under Appellate Rule 7(B) based on the nature of his offense and his character. Essentially, Garner argues that we should take into account his age of 68 years and his physical infirmities. As stated above, Garner is paraplegic. * * *

Garner argues that his aggregate sentence is excessive and asks us to order his sentences to be served concurrently, rather than consecutively. He quotes the Indiana Supreme Court’s opinion in Cardwell, in which the Supreme Court stated that appellate courts should “focus on the forest-the aggregate sentence-rather than the trees-consecutive or concurrent, number of counts, or length of the sentence of any individual count.” Id. at 1225. He contends that here we should, similarly, look at the length of the total sentence rather than the number of counts or whether they should be served concurrently. * * *

Even when we examine Garner’s aggregate sentence, we cannot find that the trial court’s sentence was inappropriate. In Cardwell, the Supreme Court elaborated on factors we should consider when evaluating a defendant’s sentence. It stated that “whether we regard a sentence as appropriate at the end of the day turns on our sense of the culpability of the defendant, the severity of the crime, the damage done to others, and myriad other factors that come to light in a given case.” Id. at 1224. The Court also noted that “[w]hether the counts involve one or multiple victims is highly relevant to the decision to impose consecutive sentences if for no other reason than to preserve potential deterrence of subsequent offenses. Similarly, additional criminal activity directed to the same victim should not be free of consequences.” Id. at 1225.

Here, both of the above factors are relevant to the nature of Garner’s offense. His offenses were committed against multiple victims and against the same victims repeatedly. * * *

For all of the above reasons, we conclude that the trial court’s sentence was appropriate, and we decline to revise it under Appellate Rule 7(B).

NFP civil opinions today (0):

NFP criminal opinions today (0):

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 25, 2014 09:33 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions