BRENT A. MECHLING, Appellant-Defendant,
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff
APPEAL FROM THE WELLS CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Kenton W. Kiracofe, Judge. Cause No. 90C01-1207-FD-61.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: PATRICIA CARESS McMATH, Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, RICHARD C. WEBSTER, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
ROBB, Judge. BAKER, J., and KIRSCH, J., concur.
Case Summary and Issues
Brent Mechling appeals his three-year sentence for invasion of privacy, a Class D
felony. Mechling raises two issues for our review: (1) whether the State is estopped from arguing Mechling waived his right to appeal in his plea agreement where the State failed to object when the trial court advised Mechling at the sentencing hearing about a right to appeal; (2) whether Mechling's sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of his offense and his character. Concluding Mechling validly waived the right to appeal his sentence in a written plea agreement and that the State is not estopped from enforcing the waiver provisions of Mechling's plea, we affirm.
Facts and Procedural History
On July 31, 2012, the State charged Mechling with strangulation, a Class D felony; invasion of privacy, a Class D felony; and domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor. The State later added an additional charge of battery resulting in bodily injury, a Class D felony. Mechling pled guilty to invasion of privacy as a Class D felony, and the State agreed to dismiss the remaining charges.
Mechling's guilty plea hearing was held on October 28, 2013, and the trial court accepted Mechling's plea. Mechling's plea agreement left sentencing to the trial court's discretion, and the agreement included a waiver of his right to appeal his sentence. On November 26, 2013, the sentencing hearing was held, and Mechling was sentenced to three years imprisonment in the Indiana Department of Correction. At the close of the sentencing hearing and after Mechling's sentence had been imposed, the trial court told Mechling that he had the right to appeal his sentence and that the court would appoint an attorney to represent Mechling if he wished to appeal. Neither the State nor defense counsel interjected to correct the trial court during that advisement, and no objection was made. Mechling now brings this appeal challenging his sentence as inappropriate.
Discussion and Decision
In Creech v. State, our supreme court held that a criminal defendant may waive the right to appellate review of his sentence as part of a written plea agreement. 887 N.E.2d 73, 76 (Ind. 2008). The facts of that case are virtually identical to ours: the defendant pled guilty and waived his right to appeal, and at the sentencing hearing, after the plea was entered and the sentence pronounced, the trial court incorrectly advised the defendant of his right to appeal. Id. at 74. On appeal, Creech argued the trial court's erroneous advisement led him to believe he retained the right to appeal and the waiver of appellate rights agreed to in the plea agreement should not be ...