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PCR court erred in determining woman violated probation

May 11, 2015

A post-conviction court incorrectly calculated when a woman’s probation ended, so it erred in finding that she violated probation after the probationary period was complete, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Mary Davis was imprisoned for Class C felony possession of a handgun following a felony conviction. As part of her eight-year sentence, four years were suspended to probation. She was released from prison on Feb. 3, 2005. On Feb. 4, 2009, the state filed a notice that she violated her probation. Davis admitted she hadn’t paid probation fees, and hearings were continued for several years on whether she could pay. In 2011, the state claimed she violated probation by failing a drug test; in 2012, the state sought to revoke her probation because new criminal charges were filed against Davis. In 2012, the state found she violated her probation because of the new criminal charges and ordered her to serve the four-year suspended sentence.

She sought post-conviction relief, saying the state sought to revoke her probation for a crime committed after the probationary period ended. The PCR court denied her petition, and she appealed in Mary K. Davis v. State of Indiana, 20A03-1411-PC-408.

The COA found several errors in the PCR court’s ruling, such as its finding that her probationary period ended Feb. 14, 2009, based on evidence Davis signed the terms of her probation on that date in 2005. But a probationary period begins immediately after sentencing, Judge Melissa May wrote. Thus, Davis’ probation period began when she was released from prison Feb. 3, 2005.

Because the remainder of the PCR court’s findings and conclusions are based on this erroneous date, the COA reversed the denial of her petition and ordered her released from incarceration.



 

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