Justices to hear murderer’s PCR case Thursday

Indiana Supreme Court justices have agreed to hear a man’s petition after an appellate panel reversed a grant of relief from his 141-year prison sentence for murder.

At age 17, Matthew Stidham was convicted of murder and multiple felonies in the kidnapping and killing of 31-year-old Daniel Barker in 1991. In 2016, Stidham filed a petition for post-conviction relief challenging his sentence based on his exemplary behavior and progress while in prison. The Delaware Circuit Court granted the relief and resentenced Stidham to consecutive terms of 60, 50 and 20 years for his murder, robbery and criminal confinement convictions.

However, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed in State of Indiana v. Matthew Stidham, 18A02-1701-PC-68, based on res judicata, concluding Stidham raised the same arguments that were decided against him on direct appeal.

Arguments in the case will be heard at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom.

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