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Judges differ on pretrial credit award

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Each judge on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel weighed in with a separate opinion as to how much pretrial credit time a defendant, who pleaded guilty to one charge - other charges were dismissed - is entitled to, or if he is entitled to any time at all.

Chief Judge John Baker, and Judges Edward Najam and Cale Bradford authored separate opinions on the issue in Keland L. Brown v. State of Indiana, No. 34A05-0812-CR-716.

Keland Brown was arrested March 6, 2008, on various dealing, possession, and false informing charges. While he was in jail on those charges, the state filed four additional charges against him and "arrested" him April 10 on those charges. He remained in jail until his October 15 sentencing hearing, at which he pleaded guilty to dealing in cocaine as a Class B felony, one of the four charges added April 10. In exchange for the guilty plea, the state dismissed all the other pending charges and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Judge Najam, who authored the lead opinion, believed Brown was entitled to credit time from April 10 to October 15, the day of his sentencing hearing. He cited Dolan v. State, 120 N.E.2d 1364, 1372 (Ind. Ct. App. 1981), and Stephens v. State, 735 N.E.2d 278, 284, (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), to support his decision.

"Here, while some of those charges - and the credit time accrued against those charges - were dismissed pursuant to the plea agreement, Brown nonetheless still accrued credit time towards his eventual sentence from April 10 to October 15. The trial court erred in not awarding Brown credit for that period of time served," Judge Najam wrote.

Judge Kirsch opined that when a trial court is sentencing pursuant to a plea agreement that resolves multiple charges, including the charge for which the defendant is being held in jail, that credit time should be accorded against the sentence ultimately imposed absent any provision in the plea agreement to the contrary.

Chief Judge Baker wrote that Dewees v. State, 444 N.E.2d 332, 332 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983), which ruled Dewees wasn't entitled to any credit which may have accrued on a separate charge, was instructive to Brown's situation. Combining the decision in Dewees, with the rule that credit is to be applied for confinement time that is a "result of the criminal charge for which sentence is being imposed," the chief judge believed the trial court properly denied Brown's request for pretrial credit time.

The judges did unanimously agree that the trial court didn't abuse its discretion by not identifying Brown's guilty plea as a mitigating factor during sentencing and that his sentence is appropriate under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B).

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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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