Kent R. Blair, Sr., Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Allen Superior Court The Honorable Wendy W. Davis,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 02D04-1511-F6-1094
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Donald C. Swanson, Jr. Deputy Public
Defender Fort Wayne, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of
Indiana Katherine Modesitt Cooper Deputy Attorney General
Summary and Issues
Following a bench trial, Kent Blair was convicted of invasion
of privacy, a Level 6 felony, and criminal trespass, a Class
A misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced Blair to one and
one-half years executed in the Indiana Department of
Correction. Blair appeals his convictions and sentence,
raising three issues for our review: (1) whether the evidence
is sufficient to sustain his convictions, (2) whether the
trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him, and (3)
whether his sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature
of the offenses and his character. Concluding the evidence is
sufficient, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in
sentencing Blair, and his sentence is not inappropriate, we
and Procedural History
Blair and his wife, R.B., lived together in a home in Fort
Wayne, Indiana. The home had been deeded to each of them by
Blair's father. In July 2014, an incident of domestic
violence occurred between the couple. Thereafter, R.B. sought
a protective order against Blair and also initiated divorce
proceedings. On November 26, 2014, the trial court issued an
ex parte order of protection against Blair, which prohibited
Blair for the next two years from harassing, annoying,
telephoning, contacting, or directly or indirectly
communicating with R.B., and further ordered him to stay away
from R.B.'s residence, school, and place of employment.
Blair received notice of the order.
In July 2015, the dissolution court held a final hearing and
later dissolved the couple's marriage; Blair did not
appear at the hearing despite receiving notice. The
dissolution decree awarded R.B. the home. On September 16,
2015, a court-appointed commissioner executed a quit claim
deed thereby deeding the real estate to R.B.
At some point, R.B. moved out of her home, claiming, "I
left for the safety of my life." Transcript at 12. R.B.
left certain pieces of personal property in the home,
including furniture, a wine collection, and jewelry. R.B.
often returned to the property to check on the home and to
collect her mail. In so doing, she observed several of her
personal items, including those noted above, were missing.
On October 31, 2015, R.B. went to the home to retrieve some
clothes and could not gain entry because the locks had been
changed. Her son, A.B., and Blair were both inside the home,
and when R.B. knocked on the door, they told her to leave and
slammed the door in her face. R.B. demanded they leave her
home, telling them it was her property and they were not
allowed to be there; neither A.B. nor Blair obliged. R.B.
then called law enforcement, and before law enforcement could
arrive, Blair "took off running." Id. at
A week later, R.B. returned to the property to collect her
mail. Again, R.B. was unable to enter her home. In fact, some
of the doors had been padlocked. R.B. called law enforcement.
Upon arrival, law enforcement determined R.B. owned the home,
and with R.B.'s permission, kicked in the front door to
the home. Law enforcement discovered multiple sets of locks
inside the home. Blair, who was inside the home, was
arrested. In an interview following his arrest, Blair told
law enforcement "the house was his, it was given
back to him in his divorce papers, [and] that it had
been in his family for generations . . . ." Id.
at 47 (emphasis added). When asked to produce the divorce
papers, Blair claimed R.B. had stolen them.
On November 13, 2015, the State charged Blair with two counts
of invasion of privacy as Level 6 felonies ("Counts I
and II"), and one count of criminal trespass as a Class
A misdemeanor ("Count III"). At trial, R.B., three
members of law enforcement, and Blair all testified.
Specifically, Blair testified he believed the home was his
and he had a right to be there. He further testified he never
received any divorce papers. The trial court found Blair
guilty as charged, merged Counts I and II, and entered
judgment of conviction on Counts I and III. The trial court