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Court affirms murder sentence

January 1, 2007
The Indiana Supreme Court today affirmed the life sentence of a man convicted of killing a 10-year-old girl in Jackson County.

A unanimous opinion in Anthony Stockelman v. State of Indiana, 36S00-0608-CR-285, affirmed the trial court was correct in weighing aggravators more heavily than proffered mitigators and that the sentence of life without parole was appropriate.

Stockelman pleaded guilty to charges of murder and child molesting arising out of Katlyn Maria Collman's murder in Crothersville in January 2005. Following her disappearance, state police discovered the girl's body five days later in a nearby lake. The state requested the death penalty but ultimately entered into a plea agreement.

All five Supreme Court justices agreed in affirming the lower court, but Justice Brent Dickson disputed in a separate opinion how that was done.

"While I agree with the majority's decision to affirm, I quibble with its concluding finding that the sentence was appropriate, which suggests that the defendant sought and the court exercised the appellate review and revise authority pursuant to Appellate Rule 7(B)," Justice Dickson wrote.

Justice Dickson noted how Stockelman's appellate presentation did not pose those review questions but rather was for appellate reversal due to trial court abuse of discretion.
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