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Criminal code revision gives no sentence relief for prior $30 theft

April 21, 2015
A LaGrange County man sentenced to two years executed for convictions of Class D felony counts of theft and attempted theft got no relief from his argument that the criminal code revisions enacted after his conviction would have been more lenient.
 
Jeremy Ellis "asserts that his aggregate term of two-and-one-half years, with six months suspended to probation, for the theft of about $30 worth of goods for each offense is inappropriate.” Ellis was convicted of taking a bag of fertilizer and a can of drain opener from a hardware store in LaGrange. About 30 minutes prior to the theft that led to his arrest, Ellis had been stopped outside the store attempting to take the same items.
 
“For support of this argument, Ellis cites the current version of Indiana’s criminal code, which was not in effect at the time he committed his offenses," Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel.
 
"We reject Ellis’ attempt to use Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) to give retroactive effect to the new criminal code," the panel held in Jeremy Ellis v. State of Indiana, 44A04-1407-CR-379. 
 
The court also rejected Ellis’ appeal on the basis of double jeopardy, because he was charged with multiple offenses demonstrated by the evidence. Ellis also failed to support his argument for additional credit time with citations to the record. 
 
Ellis’ sentence was within the court’s discretion. The panel noted he has an extensive criminal record and the items he purchased are commonly used to make methamphetamine. At the time of sentencing, he had numerous meth-related charges pending, the panel.
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