Shane R. Bradtmiller, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
from the Allen Superior Court The Honorable John F. Surbeck,
Jr., Judge Trial Court Cause No. 02D06-1705-F3-26
Attorney for Appellant Anthony S. Churchward Anthony S.
Churchward, P.C. Fort Wayne, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
Laura R. Anderson Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis,
VAIDIK, CHIEF JUDGE.
Shane R. Bradtmiller appeals his habitual-offender finding,
arguing that he did not personally waive his right to a jury
trial for the habitual-offender enhancement. We agree.
Although Bradtmiller personally waived his right to a jury
trial on the underlying felonies, that waiver came before the
State filed the habitual-offender enhancement. Contrary to
the State's argument on appeal, Bradtmiller's waiver
on the underlying felonies did not encompass a waiver on the
yet-to-be filed habitual-offender enhancement. We therefore
vacate Bradtmiller's habitual-offender finding and the
sentence imposed thereon and remand this case to the trial
court for further proceedings.
and Procedural History
In the summer of 2017, the State charged Bradtmiller with
several felonies. At a pretrial conference on Monday, October
30, 2017, the State told the trial court about several
pending motions in the case, including a motion to waive jury
trial that Bradtmiller's attorney had filed on October
27. The court then engaged Bradtmiller in a colloquy during
which it informed Bradtmiller of his right to a jury trial,
and Bradtmiller waived that right. See Pretrial Tr.
p. 5. Also at this hearing, the State told the trial court
that it had made a plea offer to Bradtmiller that expired at
"the end of the week." Id. at 4. The State
said that if Bradtmiller did not accept its offer, it was
going to file a habitual-offender enhancement on Friday. The
court set a hearing for Friday, November 3 to see where
At the hearing on Friday, Bradtmiller's attorney informed
the trial court that Bradtmiller was not accepting the
State's offer. The State then filed the habitual-offender
enhancement in open court. Bradtmiller's attorney told
the trial court that "[w]e're . . . wanting for the
record to waive the Jury . . . [i]n reference to the Habitual
Offender Enhancement[.]" Id. at 9-10. Unlike
the October 30 hearing, however, the court did not inform
Bradtmiller of his right to a jury trial for the
habitual-offender enhancement or otherwise engage in a
colloquy with Bradtmiller regarding waiver.
A bench trial was held in February 2018, and the trial court
found Bradtmiller guilty of the felonies and also found him
to be a habitual offender. The court sentenced Bradtmiller to
thirty-five years, including twenty years for the
Bradtmiller now appeals.
Bradtmiller contends that he did not personally waive his
right to a jury trial for the habitual-offender enhancement.
The Indiana Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the
personal-waiver requirement in Horton v. State,
where it stated that the Indiana Constitution's right to
a jury trial "may be waived by one, and only one,
person-the defendant. Unless the defendant personally
communicates to the judge a desire to waive that right, he
must receive a jury trial." 51 N.E.3d 1154, 1155 (Ind.
2016) (holding that Horton's attorney's waiver for
the second phase of trial was not a personal waiver by
Horton). The State does not argue that Bradtmiller personally
waived his right to a jury trial for the habitual-offender
enhancement at the November 3 hearing. Instead, the State
argues that Bradtmiller's personal waiver at the October
30 hearing "encompassed the habitual offender
enhancement." Appellee's Br. p. 12. The State
reasons that although the habitual-offender enhancement was
not filed at the time of the October 30 hearing, Bradtmiller
and his attorney nevertheless knew that the State would file
the habitual-offender enhancement if Bradtmiller did not
accept the State's offer.
We have addressed this argument from the State before. In
O'Connor v. State, the State argued that while
the habitual-offender enhancement "was not filed until
well after O'Connor waived her right to a jury trial upon
the underlying charges, O'Connor knew full well at the
time that she waived jury trial that the State would file the
habitual count if she did not accept the plea ...