ILNews

Court of Appeals revises robbery sentence

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered that a man’s robbery sentence be reduced because that conviction and sentence were not allowed due to double jeopardy. The man’s sentence for murder, robbery and rape dropped from 160 years to 130 years.

William Minnick was convicted in 1985 of murder, Class A felony robbery and Class A felony rape of Martha Payne. He was sentenced to death for the murder, but the trial court didn’t impose separate sentences for robbery or rape. His conviction was set aside in 2004 because he was found to be incompetent; the Indiana Department of Health notified the trial court in 2011 Minnick was competent.

At his new sentencing hearing, Minnick’s counsel raised concerns about Minnick’s competency, which the judge considered, but she proceeded with the hearing because she found Minnick was able to answer questions and be helpful to his attorney. He received 160 years for the three convictions.

In William Minnick v. State of Indiana, No. 47A05-1108-CR-448, the COA determined that double jeopardy prevented the trial court from convicting Minnick of Class A felony robbery because the stab wound in the victim’s back that caused her death was also the serious bodily injury alleged in the robbery count. The judges ordered the conviction be reduced to a Class B felony and that Minnick receive 20 years on that conviction, making his revised sentence 130 years.

The judges also held that the trial court did not err in failing to order another competency evaluation for Minnick. The trial court said it would take the attorney’s request under advisement. The court found Minnick was very clear and concise in his allocution, and his attorney did not contradict the judge in these statements or point to any indication Minnick was incompetent during the hearing.


 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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