Anthony J. Wampler, Appellant (Defendant below),
State of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
from the Daviess Superior Court, No. 14D01-1407-FB-714 The
Honorable Dean A. Sobecki, Judge
Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Mark Small Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Paula J. Beller Deputy Attorney General
Indianapolis, Indiana Andrew Kobe Deputy Attorney General
Anthony Wampler has a history of psychiatric problems and
hospitalizations dating back to approximately 1981, when he
was in his teens. App. 117-19, 133-34. Over the course of
many years, Wampler became obsessed with his former
elementary schoolmate, K.S. In the spring of 2014, Wampler
made unusual attempts to interact with K.S., such as leaving
notes for K.S. and sitting outside K.S.'s house. In the
early morning hours of June 29 or 30, 2014, Wampler removed
the window screen in K.S.'s laundry room and entered
K.S.'s house. He watched K.S. sleep, took a beer and a
photocopied Nelson Mandela quote from K.S.'s
refrigerator, and left K.S. a note reading, "I love you.
Sorry about the screen. There are too many as it is."
State's Ex. 1. The next morning, K.S. found the note and
the broken screen and reported the incident to the police.
When questioned by police, Wampler explained his obsession by
stating, "to me, you know, you look up male beauty and
there's [K.S.] . . . he's just like a portrait in the
flesh." State's Ex. 4, p. 29.
initially was found incompetent to stand trial, received
treatment, and was later found competent. After a bench
trial, Wampler was convicted of two counts of Class B felony
burglary and was adjudicated a habitual offender. The trial
court sentenced Wampler to concurrent eighteen-year terms on
the burglary convictions, enhanced by fifteen years for the
habitual offender adjudication, for an aggregate sentence of
thirty-three years. Wampler appealed, contending his sentence
was inappropriate under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B). The
Court of Appeals affirmed Wampler's sentence. Wampler
v. State, 57 N.E.3d 884 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016),
reh'g denied. Judge Mathias dissented, and would
have granted Wampler sentencing relief. Id. at
887-92 (Mathias, J., dissenting). He noted, "[a]lthough
Wampler challenges only the appropriateness of his sentence,
the most important issue in this case is the clear failure,
yet again, of our criminal justice system to adequately and
properly respond to and treat those with mental health
issues." Id. at 890.
Mathias referred to what he characterizes as "the large
and ironic lapse in the logic of our criminal justice system,
in which the initial imperative is to determine the
competency of defendants prospectively, to assist counsel at
trial, not to promptly consider whether the defendant was
competent at the time the crime was committed."
Id. (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted). He further opined,
The real tragedy is that Wampler was not tried under the
closest alternatives we have to humane treatment of the
mentally ill: as insane at the time of the behavior charged
or as someone who was guilty but mentally ill. Had Wampler
been found not guilty by reason of insanity, temporary or
permanent commitment proceedings would have been commenced
immediately for the treatment Wampler needs, and he might
never emerge from the mental health system. See Ind.
Code § 35-36-2-4(a) (providing that if a defendant is
found not guilty by reason of insanity, the prosecuting
attorney is required to initiate commitment proceedings
against the defendant). Had he been found guilty but mentally
ill, at least Wampler would have qualified for mandatory
evaluation and treatment "in such manner as is
psychiatrically indicated for the defendant's mental
illness." [I.C.] § 35-36-2-5(c). If found guilty
but mentally ill, that treatment could also have been carried
out by transfer to a state mental health facility.
Id. at 891. We find our colleague's comments
where a trial court has not abused its discretion in
sentencing, the Indiana Constitution authorizes independent
appellate review and revision of a trial court's
sentencing decision. See Ind. Const. art 7,
§§ 4, 6; Anglemyer v. State, 868 N.E.2d
482, 491 (Ind. 2007). Appellate courts implement this
authority through Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B), which provides
that we may revise a sentence if "after due
consideration of the trial court's decision" we find
"the sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of
the offense and the character of the offender."
to our authority under Appellate Rule 7(B), and on the
strength of Judge Mathias's dissent, we find that an
aggregate sentence of thirty-three years is inappropriate.
Accordingly, we grant transfer and revise Wampler's
sentences to concurrent six-year terms on the burglary
convictions, and ten years on the habitual offender
adjudication, for an aggregate sentence of sixteen years. In
all other respects we summarily affirm the Court of
Appeals' decision. See Ind. Appellate Rule