ILNews

Judges affirm recommitment to DOC

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Ruling on a matter having no cases directly on point, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a trial court had personal jurisdiction over the defendant when it reordered him back to the Indiana Department of Corrections several years after discovering he was released prematurely.

In October 2010, the Delaware Circuit Court held a hearing on whether Eddie Vance Jr. had served his sentence relating to a plea bargain he made in October 2006 regarding a drug charge. His plea agreement required him to serve four years in the DOC, and that sentence was to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed in a separate case for his violation of probation because of the drug charge.

Vance served his revoked sentence in the probation violation case, but he never served his sentence under the drug plea and was released by the DOC to parole in 2007. After his release, he had other run-ins with the law which led to the discovery that Vance had not served his four-year sentence on the drug charge.

At the October 2010 hearing on the matter, Vance testified he told prison officials at the DOC that they were releasing him before he served the sentence on the drug charge and that his case manager told him the sentencing order on that charge wasn’t on file with the DOC. The trial judge found Vance didn’t serve his sentence on the drug charge and ordered him to the custody of the DOC to serve the four-year sentence imposed in 2006.

In Eddie Vance, Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 18A04-1011-CR-701, Vance claimed the trial court didn’t have personal jurisdiction to order him to serve the four-year sentence after the DOC released him. The judges found he waived this argument on appeal, but the argument would fail regardless. The judges looked to Kindred v. State, 362 N.E.2d 168, 169 (Ind. Ct. App. 1977), and Woods v. State, 583 N.E.2d 1211 (Ind. 1992), to determine whether the trial court had personal jurisdiction over him.

They found Kindred and Woods to be distinguishable because Vance didn’t “surrender” himself as the defendant in Kindred did and he never contacted the trial court directly to inform it of his release. Unlike the defendant in Woods, who lived a law-abiding life while awaiting resolution of his case, Vance committed other crimes after his mistaken release from the DOC, wrote Judge Patricia Riley.
 
“Allowing Vance to be discharged now from the DOC or be credited with time against his sentence would create a windfall of a sentence shorter than the one he had bargained for under his plea agreement,” she wrote.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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