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Wilson v. State

Supreme Court of Indiana

April 1, 2014

BRYANT E. WILSON, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee (Plaintiff below)

Page 760

Appeal from the Grant Circuit Court, No. 27C01-1006-FC-160. The Honorable Mark E. Spitzer, Judge. On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 27A02-1212-CR-1012.

Bryant E. Wilson, APPELLANT, Pro se, New Castle, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Katherine Modesitt Cooper, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER: Stephen T. Owens, Public Defender of Indiana; James T. Acklin, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR AMICUS CURIAE AMICUS PROFESSORS: John D. Cowan, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

David, Justice. Dickson, C.J., Rucker, Massa, and Rush, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 761

David, Justice.

When a defendant is convicted for multiple crimes arising out of a single course of criminal conduct, Indiana's sentencing statutes provide trial courts with some discretion in ordering the individual sentences for those crimes to run consecutively or concurrently. Here, a defendant's aggregate sentence was imposed in such a way that one of the individual sentences was effectively a hybrid--it was ordered partially concurrent to the other sentences, and partially consecutive.

Is this form of sentence permissible? Because trial courts are limited to sentences authorized by statute, and because the relevant provisions of the Indiana Code here do not authorize such a hybrid sentence, the answer must be " no." We therefore remand this case to the trial court for resentencing.

Facts and Procedural History

In 1995, a jury found Bryant Wilson guilty of rape as a class A felony, criminal deviate conduct as a class A felony, and armed robbery as a class B felony. The trial court sentenced him to forty-five years for each of the class A felony convictions and twenty years for the class B felony conviction. The forty-five-year sentences were ordered to be served concurrent to one another, but the twenty-year sentence was split: fifteen years were to be served concurrent with the forty-five-year sentences, and five years were to be served consecutive to them. The result was an aggregate sentence of fifty years.

In 2012, after over a decade of unsuccessfully pursuing relief through a direct appeal, a petition for post-conviction relief, a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and a motion for sentence modification, Wilson filed a pro se verified motion to correct erroneous sentence. He claimed that the trial ...


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