Supreme Court adopts COA ruling, remands to correct improper sentence

The Indiana Supreme Court on Tuesday summarily affirmed a Court of Appeals decision remanding an improper sentence imposed in a drug case but rejected a convict’s argument that he was wrongly denied his request for a speedy trial.

The ruling in Rodriquez Anderson v. State of Indiana, 21S-CR-28, will not reduce the aggregate 25-year sentence that the Clark Circuit Court imposed on Rodriquez Anderson after he was convicted of Level 2 felony conspiracy to deal methamphetamine and Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Anderson was sentenced to 25 years on the felony count and a concurrent one year on the misdemeanor charge. Because the misdemeanor sentence is above the 180-day statutory maximum sentence for a Class B conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals remanded for that portion of the sentence to be corrected but otherwise affirmed in a Sept. 22 memorandum decision. 

“We grant transfer and summarily affirm the Court of Appeals decision,” the Supreme Court wrote Tuesday in a three-page per curiam opinion.

Justices rejected Anderson’s claim that he was improperly denied a speedy trial, however, because his pro se request came after counsel had been appointed to represent him.

“Though Anderson’s counsel was not present at this hearing (where Anderson made the speedy-trial request), the trial court advised Anderson that he could discuss with his attorney whether seeking a speedy trial would be beneficial and that his ‘attorney actually makes the formal request.’ … Because counsel had been appointed for Anderson, the trial court was not required to consider his pro se motion and therefore acted within its discretion by disregarding it,” the court concluded.

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