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Defendant's fleeing justifies delayed arrest

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the revocation of a man’s suspension for probation violations after finding the trial court did not err in ordering the man serve the remainder of his originally suspended sentence.

Jason B. Saunders pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a Class D felony in 2000, received a suspended sentence, and was placed on probation for two years. He was ordered to obey all laws and refrain from alcohol consumption. A month later, the state filed a notice of probation violation because Saunders never reported to the probation officer as ordered. An arrest warrant was issued the same day, and 11 years later, the warrant was expanded to include Tennessee.

Saunders was arrested in 2011 and had committed several offenses in Tennessee while on probation in Indiana. The trial court rejected his probation officer’s recommendation that he receive a 180-day sanction so that he could go back to Tennessee to face his probation penalties there using “Tennessee tax payers’ money.”

On appeal, Saunders claimed that the state’s 11-year delay in arresting him and pursuing the 2000 probation revocation matter amounted to a denial of his right to due process. He didn’t raise those arguments on the trial level, so the appellate court considered whether there was a fundamental error. Any prejudice that may have resulted to Saunders was because he fled from Indiana for 11 years. He admitted to all the violations and hasn’t shown his defense to the violations was impaired by the state’s delay in prosecution, wrote Judge John Baker.

Saunders’ violation of two conditions of his probation, which included committing several new offenses, justified the imposition of the entirety of his previously suspended three-year sentence, the judges held in Jason B. Saunders v. State of Indiana, No. 06A01-1111-CR-596.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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