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Archer v. State

Supreme Court of Indiana

September 6, 2017

Justine Archer, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).

         Appeal from the Marion Superior Court, No. 49G05-1602-F6-005142 The Honorable Grant W. Hawkins, Judge The Honorable Travis Sandifur, Commissioner

         On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 49A04-1606-CR-001444

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Ruth Johnson Victoria L. Bailey Marion County Public Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Justin F. Roebel Andrew J. Kobe Deputy Attorneys General Indianapolis, Indiana

          David, Justice.

         In this case we are presented with several issues related to defendant's restitution order. As a threshold matter, we must determine whether defendant waived her right to appeal the amount she was ordered to pay in restitution after she entered into a plea agreement that left the amount of restitution to be paid blank, with no further instruction on how the amount was to be determined. We then address whether sufficient evidence supports the restitution order where defendant pled guilty to stealing a vehicle and the restitution ordered was for spray-paint damage done to the vehicle during the time period it was stolen. Finally, we address whether the trial court abused its discretion when it ordered defendant to pay restitution as a condition of probation in light of her financial circumstances.

         For the reasons discussed herein, we hold that defendant did not waive her right to appeal the amount of restitution she was ordered to pay. We also hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering defendant to pay restitution as a condition of probation for the spray-paint damage caused to the victim's vehicle in light of the facts and circumstances of this case. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court.

         Facts and Procedural History

         In February 2016, Robin Boyer's 2003 Chevy Trailblazer was stolen from in front of her apartment in Indianapolis. Boyer had left the vehicle unlocked and running to warm up. Approximately 5 hours later, Boyer's vehicle was located by police. Defendant, Justine Archer, was driving it. Red paint was found on the front of the vehicle, on the vehicle identification number (VIN) inside the vehicle, and on a section of the window covering the VIN.

         Archer was arrested and charged with Level 6 felony Auto Theft. Archer pled guilty as charged. As part of the plea agreement, Archer waived the right to appeal the sentence imposed as long as the trial court sentenced her within the terms of the agreement. The agreement provided that Archer make restitution, but left the amount of restitution blank. Specifically, the plea agreement provided in relevant part:

The Defendant additionally acknowledges: . . . that [s]he hereby waives the right to appeal any sentence imposed by the Court, including the right to seek appellate review of the sentence pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B), so long as the Court sentences the Defendant within the terms of this plea agreement.

(App. 31.) The parties could not agree on a restitution amount, so the trial court held a restitution hearing.

         At the hearing, Boyer testified that her vehicle was gone for about five hours, and came back heavily spray-painted. She also presented evidence that repairs and replacements from the spray-painting would cost $5, 240.32. Archer also testified at the hearing, but neither witness testified regarding whether Archer was the one who actually spray-painted the vehicle.

         The trial court ordered Archer to pay $5, 240.32 in restitution. Archer was to pay ...


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