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Bid to set aside murder, attempted murder convictions rejected

January 31, 2019

A man who pleaded guilty at age 15 lost his appeal on a motion to set aside his murder and attempted murder convictions when the Indiana Court of Appeals found he should have filed his argument as a claim for post conviction relief.

In Nov. 2007, then-15-year-old Jamil Pirant and several friends robbed an individual at gunpoint and proceeded to shoot him to death. Two weeks later, Pirant shot another individual on the street, who ultimately survived.

In 2008, the state filed juvenile delinquency petitions alleging Pirant committed acts amounting to murder and Class A felony attempted murder if committed by an adult. In 2009, Pirant was waived to adult court and represented by waiver counsel.

Pirant was ultimately charged with counts of murder in the perpetration of a robbery and Class B felony robbery as well as Class A felony attempted murder, and he pleaded guilty. After unsuccessfully filing for post-conviction relief in 2011, Pirant moved to vacate his convictions pursuant to Trial Rule 60(B)(6) in 2018.

Finding he filed the motion “years beyond what might be deemed ‘within a reasonable time,” the trial court denied, further denying Pirant’s subsequent motion to correct error on their decision.

On appeal, Pirant argued the trial court erred in its denial, contending his motion was not subject to the “reasonable time” rule because it was based on a lack of subject matter jurisdiction, which he said made his waiver to adult court void.

Specifically, Pirant argued the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear his case because the waiver hearing in the juvenile court was flawed, in that the waiver counsel provided ineffective assistance during the hearing.

The appellate court, however, found Pirant’s argument more consistent with a claim for post-conviction relief, noting it should have been filed as such in Jamil Michael Pirant v. State of Indiana, 18A-CR-1225.

“Because Pirant was required to raise his collateral challenge to his convictions through post-conviction proceedings, the trial court acted within its discretion in denying his Trial Rule 60(B) motion to vacate them,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the court. “Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s denial, without prejudice to Pirant’s ability to pursue relief subject to the rules and procedures governing successive PCR petitions.”

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