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Court upholds imposition of court costs

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The Indiana Court of Appeals found a man’s pro se motion to correct erroneous sentence was not the proper channel to challenge the imposition of court costs following his murder trial.

Tim Godby was convicted of murdering Jeffery Asberry in New Castle in 1995 and sentenced to 60 years in prison for the murder. He was also ordered to pay court costs. His conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court on direct appeal and the COA denied Godby’s petition for post-conviction relief in 2004.

His 2012 pro se motion to correct erroneous sentence makes two claims: that the trial court abused its discretion with respect to the finding of at least one aggravating circumstance, and that the court failed to fully comply with I.C. 35-38-3-2(b), which provides a list of items a sentencing judgment must include.

In Tim L. Godby v. State of Indiana, 33A01-1203-CR-128, the judges quickly dismissed his first claim because he should have addressed it on direct appeal or post-conviction relief. He may not do so now.

They found the trial court erred when imposing the court costs because it did not include in the judgment of conviction the amount of court costs, whether Godby was indigent, and the method of satisfying the court costs.

But court costs imposed in a criminal action are not part of the sentence, so his belated attempt to correct error through this motion is not proper. The Henry Circuit Court was correct in denying his motion to correct erroneous sentence, the judges ruled.

 

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