A man found guilty of multiple drug charges will have one conviction vacated because he was subjected to double jeopardy, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
Kevin Speer was sentenced to more than 33 years in prison for his conviction of Class B felony conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and manufacturing meth; Class D felony charges of possession of meth and possession of precursors and maintaining a common nuisance; and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.
The panel found there was sufficient evidence that Speer committed the crimes for which he was convicted and that searches that turned up evidence didn’t violate his Fourth Amendment protections. The Tippecanoe Superior Court didn’t abuse its discretion in denying Speer’s mistrial request and didn’t impose an inappropriate sentence, the COA found.
But the court ruled that because the state mentioned Speer possessed an ammonium mixture containing two precursors for making meth in its arguments for conviction on the possession of precursors and manufacturing meth counts, “there is a reasonable probability that jury used those pieces of evidence to establish the essential elements of both crimes, violating double jeopardy,” Judge Melissa May wrote in Kevin Speer v. State of Indiana, 79A02-1209-CR-748.
“We therefore vacate his conviction of and sentence for Class D felony possession of two or more precursors used to manufacture methamphetamine, and remand to the trial court for revision of the Abstract of Judgment to reflect this holding.”