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Consecutive sentences in drug buy case ruled inappropriate

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A man sentenced to 40 years in prison after he sold crack cocaine to undercover agents in two separate controlled buys received an inappropriate punishment, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Pedro Alvarez was convicted of two counts of Class B felony dealing in cocaine, and a jury convicted him in absentia and sentenced him to serve consecutive 20-year terms after he was found in Mississippi.

The appellate panel ordered the sentences be served concurrently in Pedro Alvarez v. State of Indiana, 09A02-1203-CR-241.

Judge Rudy R. Pyle III wrote that the court has held that consecutive sentences for multiple counts based on nearly identical police buys was inappropriate, citing Rios v. State, 930 N.E.2d 664 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), and Bell v. State, 881 N.E.2d 1080 (Ind Ct. App. 2008).

Alvarez did not prevail in his appellate claim that the prosecution’s use of a jail mug shot from a prior arrest caused him undue prejudice. The court has held that when a defendant fails to appear, mug shots are of probative value for establishing identity.

“The Cass County Sheriff’s Department only possessed a photograph of Alvarez from a prior arrest and not his current case. The mug shot was redacted to remove references to the prior arrest,” Pyle wrote. “… Had Alvarez simply appeared for his trial, there would have been no reason to admit the mug shot.”

Alvarez was represented on appeal by Lisa M. Traylor-Wolff of Logansport, a former senior judge who was charged Monday in a disciplinary action filed by the Supreme Court.


 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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