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Man's murder sentence upheld in abduction slaying

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A man convicted of murder in Allen County will continue to serve a 65-year sentence after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the callousness of the crime merited the consideration of numerous aggravators.

In Delmas Sexton II v. State of Indiana, No. 02A03-1110-CR-465, Sexton argued that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him when it found as an aggravating circumstance the fact that as a multiple-conviction felon, he was unlawfully possessing the gun he used to kill his victim.

The court also rejected Sexton’s claim that the Allen Superior Court sentence was improper because its consideration of his criminal past resulted in double jeopardy.

In March 2009, Sexton went to the home of Donald McKee, ordered him at gunpoint to write checks, then bound him with duct tape, covered his head and forced him into a truck. According to court documents, Sexton shot McKee in the head three times and left him in the truck, where McKee was found more than a week later.

Sexton was charged with murder; felony murder; Class A felony robbery; criminal confinement and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, both Class B felonies, and two counts of Class C felony forgery. The state also alleged that Sexton was a habitual offender.

According to court records, Sexton punched his attorney in the face in open court as a trial was set to begin in 2009, resulting in the trial’s cancellation.  As another jury trial was about to begin, Sexton pleaded guilty to felony murder and the state dropped the remaining charges.

“Sexton says the trial court’s finding of multiple aggravators relating to his criminal past (like his criminal convictions, his drug use, the escalating nature of his crimes of violence, that he is at high risk of reoffending) is akin to being punished multiple times for the same offense. We disagree,” Senior Judge Randall Shepard wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Edward Najam Jr.

“A trial court may consider multiple factors relating to a defendant’s criminal past at the sentencing stage. The trial court here convicted Sexton of felony murder. For that crime, the trial court imposed one sentence. There is no double jeopardy violation,” Shepard wrote.

Judge L. Mark Bailey in a brief concurring opinion wrote that he relied on Farmer v. State, No. 772 N.E.2d 1025 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002), as the proper application of Hammons v. State, 493 N.E.2d 1250 (Ind. 1986), cited as precedent in affirming Sexton’s conviction.

 

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

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

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

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