ILNews

Affirmed sentence in home invasion, sex assault clarifies aggravator standards

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

An Indianapolis man’s 40-year executed sentence for leading a home invasion and forcing the woman who lived there to perform oral sex at gunpoint wasn’t improper, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The ruling discarded the convict’s argument that the Marion Superior sentence on convictions of Class A felony criminal deviate conduct and Class B felony robbery improperly referenced the victim’s strength and support system. The appellate panel also found a new standard in which a judge may consider elements of a crime as an aggravator.

“In Pedraza v. State, 887 N.E.2d 77, 80 (Ind. 2008), our supreme court observed that ‘sentencing used to be a two-step process — imposing of the presumptive sentence, then deciding whether any aggravators or mitigators warranted deviation.’ Since the 2005 modification of the sentencing scheme, however, sentencing ‘consists of only one discretionary determination,’” Judge Michael Barnes wrote for the court.  “‘Thus, a sentence toward the high end of the range is no longer an ‘enhanced sentence’ in the sense that the former regime provided.’”

“According to Pedraza, based on the 2005 changes, the consideration of a material element of crime as an aggravator ‘is no longer an inappropriate double enhancement,’” Barnes wrote in Joshua Gomillia v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1301-CR-77.

“Thus, to the extent the trial court considered an element of the offense as an aggravator, it is no longer an improper double enhancement under the new sentencing scheme.”

The court rejected Gomillia’s other argument that the trial court improperly considered facts outside the record in referring to the victim’s strength and support system.

“The trial court was simply making a statement about the resilience of the victim prior to its assessment of the aggravators and mitigators. Any error in the trial court’s consideration of (the victim’s) testimony at a co-defendant’s trial was harmless because it did not impact the trial court’s determination of Gomillia’s sentence,” Barnes wrote.
 
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

ADVERTISEMENT