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Felon’s convictions, multiple sentence enhancements affirmed

February 26, 2013

A sentence of 12 years with a year suspended was not inappropriate for a man who stole an idling car from a Lafayette convenience store and later resisted police, punched a police dog and threatened officers.

The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected arguments on appeal in Paul M. Brock v. State of Indiana, 79A04-1208-CR-433. The court affirmed Brock’s sentence on convictions of Class C felony auto theft, Class D felony intimidation, and Class A misdemeanors of resisting law enforcement, striking a law enforcement animal, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Brock was also found to be a habitual offender.

Brock entered a blind guilty plea on all charges on July 2 and was sentenced in August, with some sentences to be served consecutively and the habitual enhancement attached to the intimidation charge.

In his appeal, Brock argued that the sentence was an impermissible double enhancement, was inappropriate given the nature of the offenses and his character, and that the court should not have considered as an aggravating factor his history of rules violations when previously incarcerated.

“The trial court did not abuse its discretion in considering Brock’s behavior while incarcerated as an aggravating factor, and even if it did abuse its discretion, any error was harmless,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote for the unanimous panel. “Nor did the trial court subject Brock to impermissible double enhancement when it ordered his elevated sentence for auto theft to be served consecutively to the sentence for intimidation that was enhanced under the general habitual offender statute.

“Lastly, Brock’s sentence of twelve years, with one year suspended to probation, is not inappropriate in light of the nature of the offenses and the character of the offender,” the court held.
 

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