Class A felony sentences not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B)

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Two convicted child molesters will spend more time incarcerated after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled their sentences were not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B).
The state’s highest court vacated a pair of decisions by the Indiana Court of Appeals to halve sentences in both Kirk B. Lynch v. State of Indiana, 40S05-1301-CR-23, and Calvin Merida v. State of Indiana, 69S01-1301-CR-24. The justices ruled trial courts’ imposing of a 40–year sentence on Kirk Lynch and a 60-year term on Calvin Merida were appropriate.

After being convicted of attempted child molesting, a Class A felony, Lynch was sentenced to 40 years with five years suspended. Merida pled guilty to two counts of child molesting as Class A felonies. He was given consecutive advisory sentences for an aggregate term of 60 years.

The sentencing range for a Class A felony is 20 to 50 years with the advisory sentence being 30 years.

However, the trial court found the aggravating factors in the Lynch case, including that he was an Internet sexual predator and had a criminal history, outweighed the mitigating factors and therefore justified a sentence in excess of the advisory term. For Merida, the trial court noted his lack of criminal history but drew attention to the length of time his conduct occurred and the victim’s suffering.

On appeal, the COA revised Lynch’s sentence to the minimum term of 20 years and revised Merida’s sentence by ordering them to run concurrently, which reduced the aggregate term to 30 years. It cited Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B), which allows an appellate court to revise a sentence if it deems that sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.

In a per curiam decisions, the state Supreme Court affirmed the sentences handed down by the trial courts. The justices wrote in Lynch “…our collective judgment is that the sentence imposed by the trial court is not inappropriate under Appellate Rule 7(B), and does not warrant appellate revision.”


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon