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Court affirms guilty but mentally ill sentence in DUI, resisting case

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A six-year sentence for a man who fled from Greensburg police while intoxicated, crashed his van, injured his passenger and ran from the scene was affirmed Friday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

In Dale Douglas Perkins Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 16A01-1112-CR-603, judges unanimously ruled that the Decatur Superior Court did not abuse its discretion by imposing consecutive three-year sentences after Perkins pleaded guilty but mentally ill to charges of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a Class D felony and resisting law enforcement as a Class D felony. When he was arrested, Perkins’ blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

The state dropped charges of criminal confinement and being a habitual substance offender in the plea agreement.

Perkins argued that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering consecutive sentences because his “crimes are intertwined,” according to court pleadings.

The panel also dismissed Perkins’ argument that the sentence was inappropriate due to his mental health. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation determined that Perkins, 38 at the time of his conviction, was psychotic. He had been diagnosed as schizophrenic in his youth.

Judges ruled that Perkins had been able to control his behavior during incarceration and that his long criminal record in Indiana and Florida, including repeat DUI convictions and crimes including burglary, theft and attempted robbery, didn’t make the sentence inappropriate.

“Perkins keeps committing the same offenses, demonstrating that he has not learned that when he drinks alcohol he will commit unlawful acts,” Senior Judge William Garrard wrote for the panel.   

“We conclude that the nexus between his mental illness and the instant offenses is not so strong as to require a different result,” Garrard wrote. “Perkins’ mental illness does not render his sentence inappropriate, particularly in light of the manner in which Perkins committed these offenses.”


 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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