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Parks v. State

Supreme Court of Indiana

December 10, 2014

WILLIAM A. PARKS, Appellant (Petitioner below),
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee (Respondent below)

Appeal from the Tippecanoe Superior Court, No. 79D01-1209-FA-14. The Honorable Randy J. Williams, Judge.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Daniel J. Moore, Lafayette, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Richard C. Webster, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

David, Justice. Rush, C.J., Rucker, J., concur. Dickson, J., dissents with separate opinion in which Massa, J., joins.

OPINION

Page 553

David, Justice.

William Parks was convicted of Class A felony dealing in methamphetamine and received an aggregate sentence of forty (40) years. Parks now asks this Court to evaluate the appropriateness of that sentence in light of the nature of the offense and his character under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B). Reaffirming our authority and our reluctance to grant such a request, in this case our collective judgment has determined that a sentence revision is warranted.

Facts and Procedural History

On the morning of September 15, 2012, William Parks and Amanda Gentry went to the apartment of David Reeve. Parks told Gentry he planned to " try to cook" at the apartment, which Gentry understood to mean cook methamphetamine. (Tr. at 148.) While at Reeve's apartment, Gentry started smelling strong chemical odors coming from the back room. During the process of cooking, Reeve knocked over a container of chemicals. The chemical smell became significantly more intense, and the windows and doors were opened due to the smell. Jeffrey Deaton was also present at Reeve's apartment on September 15, 2012, during this time period.

Later that evening, Officer Kurt Sinks and Officer Scott Clark were dispatched to the apartment after receiving reports of a suspected methamphetamine lab. When Officer Sinks approached the apartment he saw the open door and windows and immediately smelled a strong odor coming from

Page 554

the apartment. Upon getting closer, Officer Sinks' nose and throat started burning, and he was uncertain whether it was safe to enter the premises. He saw Gentry and Deaton sitting inside, declined Gentry's offer to enter the apartment and instead requested that the two step outside to speak with him. Officer Sinks was informed that another individual was inside, at which point he called inside the apartment asking the individual to exit. The individual identified himself as Parks. Upon learning that the police were there due to a report of a suspected methamphetamine lab, Parks immediately denied that there were any drugs or a methamphetamine lab inside the apartment. Parks was eventually transported to police headquarters, where he waived his Miranda rights and was questioned by Officer Chad Robinson.

During the interview with Officer Robinson, Parks was calm and cooperative. Parks admitted to using and attempting to cook methamphetamine. Parks insisted that he wanted to be honest and expressed his regret in being involved in this incident. He explained that in two attempts to cook, he produced about three-quarters of a gram of methamphetamine each time.

The other officers returned to the apartment with a search warrant. The Indiana State Police methamphetamine team was also present processing the scene. Various items were collected from the scene, including: lithium batteries, various plastic containers, a black trash bag filled with additional plastic containers and funnels, a homemade smoking device, and coffee filters. Indiana State Police Trooper Brock Russell, who has extensive experience in ...


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