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Starcher v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 29, 2016

William M. Starcher, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Tippecanoe Superior Court Trial Court Cause No. 79D04-1506-F6-110 The Honorable Laura W. Zeman, Judge

          Attorney for Appellant Brian A. Karle Ball Eggleston, PC Lafayette, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of Indiana Tyler G. Banks Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Najam, Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] William M. Starcher appeals his two-year sentence after he pleaded guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to maintaining a common nuisance, a Level 6 felony, and possession of a synthetic drug, as a Class A misdemeanor. Starcher raises a single issue for our review, namely, whether the trial court abused its discretion when it sentenced him. However, we agree with the State that the plain terms of Starcher's plea agreement demonstrate that he waived his right to appellate review of his sentence. Accordingly, we grant the State's motion to dismiss this appeal.

         [¶2] Dismissed.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] On June 2, 2015, the State charged Starcher with maintaining a common nuisance, a Level 6 felony; taking a child to a nuisance, as a Class A misdemeanor; possession of paraphernalia, as a Class A misdemeanor; possession of a synthetic drug, as a Class A misdemeanor; and possession of marijuana, as a Class B misdemeanor. Thereafter, Starcher pleaded guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to maintaining a common nuisance, a Level 6 felony, and possession of a synthetic drug, as a Class A misdemeanor. In exchange for his guilty plea, the State agreed to dismiss the remaining charges.

         [¶4] According to Starcher's plea agreement: "As a condition of entering this plea agreement, defendant knowingly and voluntarily agrees to waive the right to appeal the sentence on the basis that it is erroneous or for any other reason so long as the Judge sentences him/her within the terms of this agreement." Appellant's App. at 26. The terms of the agreement left sentencing "open" to the trial court's discretion. Id.

         [¶5] At the ensuing guilty plea hearing, Starcher established a factual basis for his plea and the court took the agreement under advisement. Later, at the sentencing hearing, the court formally accepted the plea and sentenced Starcher to two years executed in the Department of Correction. The court then stated that Starcher had "the right to appeal this sentence . . . ." Tr. at 35. This appeal ensued.

         Discussion and Decision

         [¶6] Starcher appeals his two-year sentence. However, we agree with the State that Starcher has waived our review of his sentence.[1]

         [¶7] In Bonilla v. State, we explained the law on ...


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