A man convicted of a 1993 murder in southern Indiana was not wrongly denied post-conviction relief on his argument that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to recommend he take a plea deal, among other things.
Mark M. Jervis was convicted of killing Terri Boyer, whose partially clothed body was found in a grass strip outside a movie theater in Newburgh. Witnesses said Jervis had offered Boyer a ride to her home in Hatfield from a Newburgh tavern before her body was found the next day.
A first jury deadlocked, but Jervis was retried, convicted, and sentenced to 60 years in prison in 1995, all affirmed on appeal.
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a trial court properly denied Jervis’ petition for post-conviction relief in Mark M. Jervis v. State of Indiana, 87A05-1404-PC-171.
Jervis maintained his innocence throughout his trial and the post-conviction relief process, during which he asked for either a new trial or that the court allow him to now accept the 40-year plea offer the state made in 1995.
“Jervis fails to establish that he would have accepted the State’s plea deal. Moreover ... the trial court would not have accepted Jervis’s guilty plea over his protestation of innocence,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote for the court.
The panel also rejected Jervis’ claims that counsel was ineffective for failing to object to destruction of evidence and failing to move for a mistrial due to jury misconduct. The court noted the evidence Jervis claims was destroyed has been preserved and that the jury misconduct issue is barred by the doctrine of res judicata.