Travis L. Woodruff, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
from the Hendricks Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
32D02-1607-F1-1 The Honorable Rhett M. Stuard, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Cara Schaefer Wieneke Wieneke Law
Office, LLC Brooklyn, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Tyler G. Banks Deputy Attorney General
Travis Lee Woodruff appeals his sentence, following a jury
trial, for level 3 felony aggravated battery and level 5
felony intimidation, which was enhanced based on the
jury's findings that he is a habitual offender and that
he used a firearm in the commission of the aggravated
battery. He asserts that the trial court erred by applying
both enhancements. Finding that there has not been a
violation of the general rule against double enhancements, we
affirm Woodruff's sentence. However, we remand with
instructions that the trial court attach his habitual
offender enhancement to the sentence for his aggravated
and Procedural History
Woodruff and Chad Gore were recent acquaintances. On the
morning of July 6, 2016, Gore and two companions were asleep
in a motel room in Hendricks County. A loud knock on the door
awoke them. Gore directed one of his companions to open the
door. Woodruff, also accompanied by two people, entered the
room. Startled by the "aggressive commotion, " Gore
arose and sat at the edge of the bed. Tr. Vol. 2 at 207. As
tensions escalated, Gore's companions left the room.
Woodruff and his companions loudly accused Gore of either
reporting them to the police on a prior occasion or being a
police officer. Gore denied the allegations. Woodruff was not
convinced, saying, "[Y]ou know here's how it's
going to go, " as he wielded a .22-caliber revolver.
Id. at 208, 210. Woodruff fired two shots that
narrowly missed Gore. Woodruff's companions ran out of
the room. Woodruff was standing "right in front of
[Gore] . . . less than arm's reach." Id. at
233. Gore stood up and attempted to wrestle the revolver away
from Woodruff. During the struggle, Woodruff shot Gore in the
chest. Woodruff dropped the gun and fled the scene. Gore
eventually received emergency medical attention for injuries
to a few internal organs and a laceration on his head.
The State charged Woodruff with level 1 felony attempted
murder, level 3 felony aggravated battery, level 5 felony
battery by means of a deadly weapon, level 5 felony
intimidation, and level 6 felony criminal recklessness. The
State also alleged that Woodruff was a habitual offender and
that he used a firearm in the commission of the aggravated
battery, each of which is a basis for enhancing a
defendant's sentence. Following a jury trial, Woodruff
was found guilty of all charges except attempted murder. The
jury also found that Woodruff was a habitual offender and
used a firearm in the commission of the aggravated battery.
The trial court vacated the guilty verdicts for battery with
a deadly weapon and criminal recklessness due to double
jeopardy concerns. The trial court imposed a fifteen-year
sentence for the aggravated battery conviction and a
concurrent two-year sentence for the intimidation conviction.
The trial court enhanced Woodruff's sentence by a
fifteen-year term for the habitual offender finding and a
subsequent ten-year term for the use of a firearm, for an
aggregate forty-year sentence. Woodruff now appeals.
Woodruff's sole argument on appeal is that the trial
court erred in applying both the habitual offender
enhancement and the firearm enhancement to his sentence for
aggravated battery. Claims of multiple sentencing
enhancements are governed by statutory interpretation.
Nicoson v. State, 938 N.E.2d 660, 663 (Ind. 2010).
We review matters of statutory interpretation de novo because
they raise pure questions of law. Id.
Woodruff contends that the trial court ordered what he
characterizes as an impermissible double enhancement, citing
Dye v. State, 972 N.E.2d 853 (Ind. 2012),
aff'd on reh'g, 984 N.E.2d 625 (Ind. 2013).
In Dye, our supreme court explained that three types
of statutes authorize enhanced sentences for repeat
offenders: the general habitual offender statute, specialized
habitual offender statutes, and progressive-penalty statutes.
Id. at 857. Generally, double enhancements are
impermissible unless there is explicit legislative direction
authorizing them. Id. at 856. When more than one of
these types of statutes apply to the defendant at the same
time, there are double enhancement issues. Id. at
857. Conversely, if not more than one of these types of
statutes apply, then there is no double enhancement issue to
In Dye, the court held that it was impermissible for
the defendant's unlawful possession of a firearm by a
serious violent felon conviction to be enhanced further by
the general habitual offender statute. Id. at 858.
On rehearing, the supreme court further clarified that the
defendant's habitual offender enhancement was vacated not
merely because the serious violent felon statute, a
progressive-penalty statute, and the general habitual
offender enhancement were simultaneously applied, but more
precisely because the past felonious conduct used as the
basis for the ...