Appeal from the Lake Superior Court. The Honorable Clarence D. Murray, Judge. Cause No. 45G02-1011-MR-15.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: P. Jeffrey Schlesinger, Appellate Public Defender, Crown Point, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Richard C. Webster, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Bailey, Judge. Robb, J., and Brown, J., concur.
[¶ 1] Matthew Marcus, II (" Marcus" ) challenges the thirty-five year sentence imposed upon his plea of guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter, as a Class A felony. He purportedly raises a single issue of whether the sentence is manifestly unreasonable. We strike the brief, reprimand Marcus's counsel, and remand for appointment of competent counsel to present a cogent argument on Marcus's behalf.
Facts and Procedural History
[¶ 2] The parties stipulated to the facts of the crime. On November 8, 2010, Marcus
was at the residence of Tishwanda Reynolds (" Reynolds" ). Reynolds refused Marcus's sexual advances and Marcus choked Reynolds to death, using both his hands and a belt.
[¶ 3] Reynolds was charged with Murder, but reached a plea agreement with the State. On May 6, 2014, Marcus pled guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter. He received the maximum sentence possible under the terms of the plea agreement, that is, thirty-five years. Counsel was appointed to represent Marcus in this appeal.
Discussion and Decision
[¶ 4] At the outset, we observe that there are gross deficiencies in Marcus's appellate brief. Purportedly, a " manifestly unreasonable" sentence was imposed upon Marcus. Appellant's Brief at 1. As a standard of review, counsel offers pre-2001 language of Indiana Appellate Rule 17(B), specifically: " A reviewing court will not revise a sentence authorized by statute except where such sentence is manifestly unreasonable in light of the nature of the offense and character of the offender." Appellant's Brief at 3. He further directs our attention to a quote from Evans v. State, 725 N.E.2d 850, 851 ...