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Norris v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 6, 2015

John Norris, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Appeal from the Howard Superior Court. The Honorable William C. Menges, Judge. Case No. 34D01-1312-FA-975.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Donald E.C. Leicht, Kokomo, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana, Graham T. Youngs, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Vaidik, Chief Judge. Baker, J., and Riley, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 334

Vaidik, Chief Judge.

Case Summary

[¶ 1] John Norris sold ten hydrocodone pills for $6 each to a confidential informant during a controlled buy. Norris was charged with a Class A felony and pled guilty to Class B felony dealing in a controlled substance. The trial court sentenced him to twenty years, all executed. Norris now appeals his sentence, arguing that it is inappropriate.

[¶ 2] Although Norris has a criminal history and was on probation when he committed this offense, given the small amount of pills that were sold to a confidential informant during a controlled buy, we find that a twenty-year executed sentence is excessive. We therefore remand this case to the trial court with instructions to impose a sentence of twelve years, with eight years executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and four years suspended to supervised probation.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶ 3] On October 3, 2013, Kokomo Police Department officers worked with a confidential informant (" CI" ) to set up a controlled buy. The CI contacted Norris through text messages and telephone calls and told him that he wanted to purchase " some tabs." Appellant's App. p. 15. Norris was on probation at the time. Norris told the CI that he could sell him ten pills for $6 each. Norris and the CI met at the Walgreens at the intersection of Washington Street and Sycamore Street, which was within 1000 feet of Foster Park.

[¶ 4] At the meeting place, the CI gave Norris $60, and Norris handed him ten hydrocodone pills. The controlled buy was videotaped.

[¶ 5] In December 2013 the State charged Norris with Count 1: Class A felony dealing in a controlled substance (within 1000 feet of a public park) for the October 3rd controlled buy and Count 2: Class A felony dealing in a controlled substance (within 1000 feet of school property) for a controlled buy--also involving ten hydrocodone pills--that occurred the following day with the same CI.[1]

[¶ 6] Norris and the State entered into a plea agreement. Norris pled guilty to Count 1 as a Class B felony. In exchange, the State agreed to dismiss Count 2 as well as petitions to revoke Norris's probation that had been filed in two cause numbers. Id. at 25, 27. Norris's sentence was " left to the discretion of the Court after preparation of a ...


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