United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
JACOB D. AUSHERMAN, Petitioner,
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE
petition of Jacob Ausherman for a writ of habeas corpus
challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No.
WVS 16-10-0008. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Mr.
Ausherman's habeas petition must be
in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits,
Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004)
(per curiam), or of credit-earning class, Montgomery v.
Anderson, 262 F.3d 641, 644-45 (7th Cir. 2001), without
due process. The due process requirement is satisfied with
the issuance of advance written notice of the charges, a
limited opportunity to present evidence to an impartial
decision-maker, a written statement articulating the reasons
for the disciplinary action and the evidence justifying it,
and “some evidence in the record” to support the
finding of guilt. Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst. v.
Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985); Wolff v.
McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 570-71 (1974); Piggie v.
Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2003); Webb v.
Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
October 21, 2016, Investigator J. Poer wrote a Conduct Report
charging Mr. Ausherman with conspiracy to commit trafficking.
The Conduct Report states:
I, Inv J. Poer, conducted an investigation into the
trafficking of Suboxone strips by Officer Mark Wooten. During
my investigation it was determined that multiple offenders
involved with the conspiracy were using the account of
offender Kyle Wilhelm 143157 to contact Sherrie Ausherman at
765-978-9366. Offender Ausherman, Jacob 178249 used the
Wilhelm DOC number and private pin to call 765-978-9966.
During the calls offender Ausherman would use coded language
to discuss the management of the trafficking. Once offender
Ausherman was placed in segregation, he would utilize
offender Shawn Adams to communicate with his mom on the
Wilhelm account about the trafficking. During multiple calls,
Sherrie Ausherman and offender Adams talk about “lil
bro”, which is a reference to offender Jacob Ausherman.
Ausherman and Adams are both members of STG Imperial
Gangsters. Sherrie and Adams talk in coded language about
what Ausherman wants done with regard to trafficking Suboxone
into the facility. Through the investigation, I was able to
substantiate the conspiracy to traffic Suboxone strips into
the facility and caught Officer Mark Wooten bringing 190
Suboxone strips in on 8/10/16. Wooten gave a recorded
statement that substantiated Sherrie Ausherman's
involvement along with multiple other offenders.
Dkt. 9-1 at 1. The Conduct Report also referred to
Confidential Case File 16-CIC-0034 for further information.
Poer also completed an Investigation Report on October 21,
2016, which states:
On July 28, 2016, I, Inv. J. Poer, opened an investigation on
Trafficking a controlled substance with an inmate. During the
investigation, I was able to substantiate that offender
Ausherman, Jacob 178429 was providing instructions to his
mother Sherrie Ausherman on how he wanted her to receive
controlled substance Suboxone and package it for delivery
into the facility. Offender Ausherman originally would call
Sherrie Ausherman on phone number 765-978-9366 using another
offender's phone account. Offender Ausherman was given
segregation time on an unrelated conduct report so he began
sending instructions to Sherrie Ausherman through offender
Adams, Shawn 200663. Offender Adams would call Sherrie
Ausherman on the same number and would constantly tell
Sherrie Ausherman what “lil bro” wanted her to
do. Offender Adams was referring to offender Ausherman when
he talked about “lil bro” with Sherrie Ausherman.
For additional information refer to Confidential Case File
Dkt. 9-2 at 1.
Ausherman was notified of the charge on October 28, 2016,
when he received the Screening Report. He plead not guilty to
the charge, did not request to call any witnesses, and
requested as physical evidence the “IA Evidence and
Confidential Case File 16-CIC-0034.” Dkt. 9-3 at 1.
hearing was held on November 15, 2016. Mr. Ausherman stated
the following at the hearing: “‘lil bro' is
an assumption to be me-there is no way to prove this was me.
I didn't tell my mother to do it nor did I tell him to do
it-I sometimes ran a store-forget this-it is irrelevant. I
should be able to get the coded words I supposedly
used.” Dkt. 9-6 at 1. Investigator Poer was sworn in
over the phone and he testified that the confidential
informants used in the investigation were reliable and
provided true and accurate information. Based on the Staff
Reports, Mr. Ausherman's statement, Investigator
Poer's testimony, and the confidential case file summary,
the hearing officer found Mr. Ausherman guilty of conspiracy
to traffick. The sanctions imposed included a 180-day
earned-credit-time deprivation and a credit-class demotion.
Ausherman appealed to Facility Head and the IDOC Final
Reviewing Authority, but both of his appeals were denied. He
then brought this petition for a writ of ...