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Man’s 76-year sentence for kidnapping driver affirmed

December 17, 2014

The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected all of a man’s arguments on appeal as to why his convictions and sentence should be overturned for his kidnapping and robbery of a delivery driver.

Tyrone Winkleman attacked and kidnapped 68-year-old James Armagost in the parking lot of an Elkhart hotel. Winkleman took Armagost’s wallet, ordered him to withdraw more money, and drove his truck to a gas station, where he picked up a girl. Winkleman then took Armagost back to the hotel, believing he locked Armagost in his room. Armagost escaped after Winkleman went to another room with the girl.

Wikleman was convicted of Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Class A felony kidnapping and Class B felony criminal confinement. He was sentenced to 76 years.

In Tyrone Winkleman v. State of Indiana, 20A03-1405-CR-157, he claimed the trial court committed fundamental error in instructing the jury because it omitted the force element from the kidnapping instruction, the court failed to advise him of his Boykin rights before he pleaded guilty to a habitual-offender allegation, and the court abused its discretion when sentencing him.

Although the force element was omitted in the jury instruction, the element of force or threat of force was clearly established at trial, Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik found, so there is not fundamental error.

Also, based on the record, the trial court did advise Winkleman of his Boykin rights prior to pleading guilty to the habitual offender allegation. And finally, the record clearly supports that the trial court would have imposed the same sentence without regard to the aggravators Winkleman challenged on appeal – Armagost’s military service; that Winkleman took Armagost’s keychain which contained his heart medication; the case involved multiple counts, and that Winkleman used the proceeds of the robbery to pay for a prostitute.

 

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