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Supreme Court takes case involving sentencing discrepancy

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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer to a case in which a defendant challenged his sentence following his guilty plea to Class B felony burglary and admitting to being a habitual offender.

A written plea agreement called for James Walsh to be sentenced to 20 years for the burglary conviction and a consecutive 30 years for the habitual offender determination with 20 years of the sentence suspended to probation. The trial court entered the habitual-offender enhancement as a separate, consecutive sentence.

The post-conviction court ordered he be re-sentenced to 20 years for the burglary conviction, enhanced by 10 years because it was an error to impose a separate, consecutive sentence for the habitual-offender enhancement.

The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded in a not-for-publication opinion June 24. The trial court was without authority to enter a sentence different than that provided for in the plea agreement, even if it was to Walsh’s benefit, the appellate court ruled. The judges remanded to correct the sentence order and abstract of judgment to reflect that the 30-year sentence for the habitual-offender adjudication serves to enhance the 20-year burglary sentence, with 20 years suspended to probation.

The case is James Walsh v. State of Indiana, No. 52S05-1009-CR-506.

The high court also granted transfer with opinions last week to Max Koenig v. State of Indiana, No. 42S04-1009-CR-505, Virginia Meister v. State of Indiana and Union City, No. 68S04-1009-CV-510, and Rosalynn West v. Betty Wadlington, et al., No. 49S02-1009-CV-509.
 

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