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Court of Appeals revises robbery sentence

April 3, 2012

The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered that a man’s robbery sentence be reduced because that conviction and sentence were not allowed due to double jeopardy. The man’s sentence for murder, robbery and rape dropped from 160 years to 130 years.

William Minnick was convicted in 1985 of murder, Class A felony robbery and Class A felony rape of Martha Payne. He was sentenced to death for the murder, but the trial court didn’t impose separate sentences for robbery or rape. His conviction was set aside in 2004 because he was found to be incompetent; the Indiana Department of Health notified the trial court in 2011 Minnick was competent.

At his new sentencing hearing, Minnick’s counsel raised concerns about Minnick’s competency, which the judge considered, but she proceeded with the hearing because she found Minnick was able to answer questions and be helpful to his attorney. He received 160 years for the three convictions.

In William Minnick v. State of Indiana, No. 47A05-1108-CR-448, the COA determined that double jeopardy prevented the trial court from convicting Minnick of Class A felony robbery because the stab wound in the victim’s back that caused her death was also the serious bodily injury alleged in the robbery count. The judges ordered the conviction be reduced to a Class B felony and that Minnick receive 20 years on that conviction, making his revised sentence 130 years.

The judges also held that the trial court did not err in failing to order another competency evaluation for Minnick. The trial court said it would take the attorney’s request under advisement. The court found Minnick was very clear and concise in his allocution, and his attorney did not contradict the judge in these statements or point to any indication Minnick was incompetent during the hearing.


 

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