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Shepard v. State

Supreme Court of Indiana

October 20, 2017

Richard D. Shepard, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).

         Appeal from the Vigo Superior Court, No. 84D03-1202-FB-000468 The Honorable David R. Bolk, Judge

         On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 84A01-1606-CR-01309.

          Attorney for Appellant Cara Schaefer Wieneke Wieneke Law Office LLC Brooklyn, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana

          Henry Flores Andrew J. Kobe Justin F. Roebel Deputy Attorneys General Indianapolis, Indiana

          DAVID, JUSTICE.

         Richard Shepard's direct placement in a community corrections facility was revoked for his failure to abide by the program's terms. Consequently, he was ordered to serve the remainder of his eleven-year sentence in the Department of Correction. In calculating Shepard's earned good time credit, the trial court determined Shepard was not entitled to any good time credit for his time served in the work-release program because the community corrections director had deprived Shepard of more good time credit days than he was entitled to receive.

         Shepard now challenges the deprivation of good time credit, arguing that the community corrections director lacked the authority to deprive him of good time credit earned. We agree. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's determination as to the good time credit Shepard earned while in the program, and we remand to the trial court with instructions to recalculate Shepard's credit time.

         Facts and Procedural History

         In early 2012, Drug Task Force Detectives carried out an undercover operation using a confidential informant ("CI"), who stated that he could purchase cocaine from someone he knew as Richard Shepard ("Shepard"). During the operation, Shepard was observed receiving payment from the CI in exchange for a clear plastic bag containing a white powdery substance, which later tested positive for cocaine.

         Shepard was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, Class B felony dealing in cocaine. On May 16, 2013, the trial court sentenced him to eleven years of incarceration, pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement. Shepard was also awarded credit for 450 days of pre-sentence incarceration and 450 days of good time credit.

         In 2015, Shepard petitioned for modification of his sentence, to which the State did not object. Shepard's petition was granted, and the trial court ordered him to serve the balance of his sentence in the Vigo County work release program, under supervision of the Vigo County Community Corrections. While in the program, Shepard committed several violations. Among those were three instances in which Shepard left the work release program facility for work, but did not immediately return when he was informed he was not needed at work. On two other occasions, Shepard left work without permission and failed to return immediately to the facility. In each case, program officials held administrative hearings and repeatedly took away portions of Shepard's earned credit time. In total, Shepard was deprived of 225 earned good time credit days.

         On April 20, 2016, the State filed a motion to revoke Shepard's probation and placement in community corrections. Finding that Shepard had violated the conditions of probation, the trial court ordered him recommitted to the Indiana Department of Correction (the "D.O.C.") for the balance of his eleven-year sentence. In calculating Shepard's earned good time credit, the trial court determined Shepard was entitled to 450 days for the pre-sentence incarceration, fourteen days for time served in Vigo County Jail following the grant of modification of placement, and another thirty-four days served in the Vigo County Jail from April 22, 2016 through May 25, 2016. However, the court also determined that Shepard would not receive any good time credit for the 190 actual days he served in the work-release program because the program had deprived him of 225 days of good time credit.

         Shepard appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in denying Shepard good time credit for the days served in community corrections. In a published opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment, finding that the community corrections ...


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