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10-year sentence for 5-finger discount not inappropriate, COA rules

July 2, 2013

The Indiana Court of Appeals has found a sentence of 10 years for stealing a shirt valued at $14.99 is not inappropriate.

Frederick L. King pleaded guilty to robbery as a Class B felony after taking a shirt from a Fort Wayne retailer. The trial court noted aggravating circumstances that King had three prior juvenile delinquency adjudications and, at the time of the robbery, had been released on bond in another case involving the use of a firearm which resulted in a Class C felony charge. As a mitigating circumstance, the lower court pointed out King had pleaded guilty and expressed remorse.

Consequently, the trial court sentenced King to the advisory sentence of 10 years, but it suspended six years of the sentence to probation.

The COA reviewed Frederick L. King v. State of Indiana, 02A03-1212-CR-515, under the authority granted by the Indiana Constitution permitting appellate review and revision of criminal sentences. Appellate courts may revise sentences if the sentence is found to be inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

In a per curiam decision, the appeals court concluded the trial court did not impose an inappropriate sentence under Appellate Rule 7(B) and the sentence does not warrant appellate revision.

 

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