Judges uphold teen’s 40-year sentence for brutal attack on homeowner

July 15, 2016

A Grant County teen who participated in the rape of a homeowner during his burglary of her home deserves the 40-year sentence imposed in adult court, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

Larenz Jordan, then 15, and two others decided to rob a home occupied by R.H. while her husband was out of town in July 2014. They knew the home was occupied and when they encountered R.H., the three perpetrators took turns raping or assaulting her. She complied in order to protect her children from being awakened or harmed. The attack lasted for several hours and the three made her shower to attempt to get rid of any evidence. They took laptops and other electronics when they left.

Jordan was alleged to be a juvenile delinquent in August 2014, but was waived to be tried as an adult in Grant Circuit Court. He was charged with 15 offenses and found guilty of them all: 12 counts of rape, which included some as an accomplice; and one count each of conspiracy to commit rape, burglary and robbery. He received an aggregate 40-year sentence, with four years suspended to probation.

He argued in Larenz Jordan v. State of Indiana, 27A02-1511-CR-1897, that the trial court abused its discretion in determining he was “beyond rehabilitation under the juvenile justice system,” as required under I.C. 31-30-3-2(4). Jordan claimed that for the court to have entered findings concerning “criminal thinking,” as used in the waiver order, the record required evidence related to “criminogenic traits” as those are understood to apply within the context of evidence-based practices in sentencing and rehabilitation. Since no data was provided, the juvenile court’s waiver order was defective as a matter of law, he claimed.

The appellate judges rejected that argument, noting Jordan provided no legal authority to support that proposition. Nor will the court impose such a requirement as a matter of law, as his construction of the court’s order is excessively narrow and seeks to impose requirements not stated in the juvenile waiver statute, Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote.

The elements of the waiver statute are otherwise properly addressed and supported by evidence, he noted.

The judges also upheld the sentence, pointing out the offenses are “horrendous.” Jordan’s character also doesn’t support a reduction because he told the probation officer that the victim did not protest and didn’t seem to be upset about the incident. He also said he experienced a thrill when he took the victim’s van to leave the crime scene to buy snacks.

One probation officer who observed Jordan’s trial testimony opined that he has “no moral compass and I don’t know how to fix that.”

“Simply put, even given his age, Jordan’s character speaks poorly of him and of the likelihood of rehabilitation,” Bailey wrote.


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