An Indianapolis trial court abused its discretion by ordering a man convicted in a physical altercation with police to pay more than $27,000 in restitution despite a lack of evidence he caused injuries that resulted in those medical bills.
Kent Akins pleaded guilty to Class D felony resisting law enforcement and Class A misdemeanor resisting for punching one officer and obstructing or interfering with another outside a bar in December 2013. He received a suspended 18-month sentence and was ordered to pay restitution after a hearing.
But in this case, Senior Judge Carr Darden wrote for the panel that the record is undisputed in showing there is no evidence Akins is responsible for the damages he was ordered to pay.
“In this case, the State correctly concedes that there is no evidence in the record that Akins caused Officer (Antwon) Keyes’ injuries,” Darden wrote. “Indeed, there is no evidence that Officer Keyes’ injury occurred in connection with Akins’ arrest. Akins pleaded guilty to battering and injuring Officer (Tyler) Watson, not Officer Keyes.
“Under these circumstances, the trial court’s restitution award was against the logic and effects of the facts and circumstances, and we must reverse,” Darden wrote, remanding for a new restitution hearing at which the state must prove that Keyes’ injuries resulted from Akins’ criminal behavior.
“Restitution must reflect actual medical costs incurred by the victim and may not include recovery for duplicated medical charges, such as those covered by insurance. … Akins must be given an opportunity to test the State’s evidence and submit his own.”
The case is Kent Akins v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1412-CR-869.