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Jaco v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 31, 2015

Shawn Jaco, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

          Appeal from the Vanderburgh Circuit Court. The Honorable Kelli E. Fink, Magistrate. Trial Court Cause No. 82C01-1011-FB-1353.

         APPELLANT PRO SE: Shawn Jaco, Pendleton, Indiana.

         ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Jesse R. Drum, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

         Brown, Judge. Kirsch, J., and Mathias, J., concur.

          OPINION

          Brown, Judge.

         [¶1] Shawn Jaco, pro se, appeals from the denial of his motion for modification of sentence. Jaco raises one issue, which we revise and restate as whether the trial court erred in denying his motion. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] In November 2011, a jury found Jaco guilty of aggravated battery as a class B felony and criminal confinement as a class C felony. On December 14, 2011,

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the trial court sentenced Jaco to fourteen years for his conviction for aggravated battery and five years for his conviction for criminal confinement, to be served concurrently with each other. We affirmed Jaco's convictions on appeal. Jaco v. State, 980 N.E.2d 451 (Ind.Ct.App. 2012), trans. denied.

         [¶3] On February 17, 2015, Jaco filed a motion for modification of sentence arguing that he has been fully rehabilitated. On May 28, 2015, the court held a hearing at which the State objected, and the court denied Jaco's motion.

         Discussion

         [¶4] The issue is whether the trial court erred in denying Jaco's motion for modification of sentence. We review a trial court's denial of a petition to modify a sentence only for abuse of discretion. Swallows v. State, 31 N.E.3d 544, 545-546 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015) (citing Hobbs v. State, 26 N.E.3d 983, 985 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015) (citing Gardiner v. State, 928 N.E.2d 194, 196 (Ind. 2010))), trans. denied. If the ruling rests on a question of law, however, we review the matter de novo. Id. (citing State v. Holloway, 980 N.E.2d 331, 334 (Ind.Ct.App. 2012)). Matters of statutory interpretation present pure questions of law. Id. (citing State v. Brunner, 947 N.E.2d 411, 416 (Ind. 2011) (citing Gardiner, 928 N.E.2d at 196), reh'g denied ).

         [¶5] Ind. Code § 35-38-1-17 addresses the reduction or suspension of a sentence. Prior to July 1, 2014, the statute provided in part:

If more than three hundred sixty-five (365) days have elapsed since the convicted person began serving the sentence and after a hearing at which the convicted person is present, the court may reduce or suspend the sentence, subjec ...

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