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Justices: Inmate will serve longer term for punching prison worker

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A Department of Correction inmate serving a 17-year sentence was improperly given credit time that reduced his sentence for punching a prison worker in the face.

The Indiana Supreme Court remanded State of Indiana v. Adrian Lotaki, 32S01-1403-CR-151, with instructions to resentence him. At sentencing on a conviction of Class D felony battery for the prison-worker assault, a judge imposed a three-year sentence but awarded 471 days of credit time for time served before the battery charge plus another 471 days of Class I credit time against the battery charge.

“This award of credit time with respect to a mandatory consecutive sentence was error, and conflicts with our precedent,” justices held in a four-page, per curiam opinion. The ruling affirms the State’s position in a motion to correct error that was denied at the trial court and Court of Appeals.

Justices noted I.C. 35-50-1-2(d)(1) requires consecutive sentences when crimes are committed by someone imprisoned for another crime. Lotaki’s credit time was calculated in conflict with the statute.

“To award credit for this time against the battery sentence rather than against the aggregate of the consecutive sentences would result in more credit to which he was entitled and would effectively enable him to serve part of the consecutive sentences concurrently,” justices reasoned.


 

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