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Supreme Court upholds burglar’s sentence, rejects COA assessment of appellate argument

October 25, 2016

The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed Tuesday a burglar’s felony conviction and sentence, but also rejected a harsh Court of Appeals assessment of the his argument appealing his sentence.

After he was convicted of Level 4 felony burglary and was found to be a habitual offender, the Dearborn Superior Court sentenced Victor Karp to an aggregate term of 24 years. Karp appealed, arguing that the trial court had abused its discretion in sentencing him and had sentenced him more harshly because he “exercised his constitutional right to a jury trial” by declining to plead guilty and receive a 20-year sentence cap.

However, the Indiana Court of Appeals rejected that argument and affirmed his convictions and sentence, writing that Karp’s argument was “specious and not supported by cogent reasoning.”

The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer in the case of Victor Karp v. State of Indiana, 15S04-1610-CR-555 and wrote Tuesday that it agreed with the Court of Appeals’ decision to affirm Karp’s convictions and sentence. However, the justices noted in the per curiam opinion that they did not agree with the Court of Appeals’ assessment of Karp’s sentencing argument.

Thus, the high court affirmed Karp’s convictions but also vacated from the Court of Appeals opinion the statement calling his argument specious and unsupported by cogent reasoning.

Justices Mark Massa and Geoffrey Slaughter concurred in result.
 

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