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Man’s 100-year sentence for impregnating stepdaughter, dealing drugs upheld

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After pleading guilty to child molesting and dealing in hydrocodone, a Dearborn County man was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday that his 100-year aggregate sentence should be reduced.

James E. Mefford was on probation for Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor when he delivered hydrocodone to another person and had sex with his 13-year-old mentally disabled stepdaughter. She became pregnant and later had an abortion. DNA tests on the fetus revealed Mefford was the father of the baby.

In two separate causes, he pleaded guilty to Class A felony child molesting and a habitual offender allegation, and to Class B felony dealing in a schedule II controlled substance. Sentencing was left open to the trial court, which sentenced him to the maximum of 50 years for child molesting, enhanced by 30 years, and the maximum of 20 years on the drug charge. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

In James E. Mefford v. State of Indiana, 15A04-1208-CR-394, Mefford argued that his sentence is inappropriate and he should have been ordered to serve the sentences concurrently.

In upholding his sentence, the appellate judges pointed out that Mefford told his stepdaughter to lie about who impregnated her and tried to arrange for an out-of-state abortion. He also claimed he was drunk and thought he was having sex with his wife. He also had an extensive criminal history, including sexual offenses, and he admitted to prolonged use of alcohol and drugs despite prior treatment.

They rejected his argument for concurrent sentences, finding that he committed two separate crimes on different days and was tried in separate causes.

 

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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.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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