Chad E. Adams, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Tippecanoe Superior Court Cause No.
79D02-1708-F5-103 The Honorable Steven P. Meyer, Judge
Attorney for Appellant Brian A. Karle Ball Eggleston, PC
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Marjorie H. Lawyer-Smith Deputy Attorney General
BARTEAU, SENIOR JUDGE.
of the Case
Chad E. Adams appeals from his four-year aggregate sentence
after pleading guilty to one count of Level 5 felony carrying
a handgun with a prior felony, contending that the trial court
improperly calculated his accrued time and that his sentence
is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and
the character of the offender. We affirm in part, reverse in
part and remand with instructions.
Adams presents the following restated issues for our review:
I. Did the trial court improperly calculate Adams'
accrued time by failing to recognize the time he spent in
jail after his arrest and before posting bond later that same
II. Is Adams' sentence inappropriate in light of the
nature of the offense and the character of the offender?
and Procedural History
In June of 2017, Adams was living in an apartment with his
girlfriend, Melissa Lagoy. Lagoy owned two vehicles and one
of them was a van. The van did not have a valid license plate
or registration and was not insured. No one had driven the
van for several months prior to the date of the offense.
Among the many things Lagoy kept in the locked van was a
handgun placed under the driver's seat instead of in the
apartment where children also lived. Another reason for the
placement of the handgun was Adams' 2006 felony
conviction for possession of marijuana which prevented him
from legally possessing a firearm.
On the evening of June 16, 2017, Adams was home when he
received a call that Lagoy and a friend had car trouble and
were stranded. Adams entered Lagoy's van and left in it
to bring her home.
Approximately two minutes after Adams began driving the van,
a local police officer recognized him. The officer initiated
a traffic stop because he knew that Adams did not have a
valid driver's license. During the stop, the officer
noticed the firearm under the driver's seat. Lagoy
arrived on foot at the scene of the traffic stop and informed
the officer that the firearm belonged to her.
Adams was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a
firearm with a prior felony as a Level 5 felony along with
other charges. Adams entered into a plea agreement pursuant
to which he pleaded guilty to the Level 5 felony in exchange
for dismissal of the other counts. After a hearing, the trial
court sentenced Adams to an aggregate term of four years with
one and a half years executed in the Indiana Department of
Correction, one and a half years executed on community
corrections, and one year of supervised probation. Adams now
Calculation of Time
Adams challenges the trial court's failure to recognize
the time Adams spent in jail prior to sentencing. Adams was
arrested and imprisoned in the county jail on June 17, 2017
and was confined, according to his statement made during a
colloquy with the trial court at the sentencing hearing, for
approximately six to eight hours before he was able to post
bond. Tr. p. 27. His pre-sentence investigation report
credits him with one actual jail day from June 17, 2017 to
June 17, 2017. Appellant's App. Vol. 2, p. 62.
Despite the recommendation in the pre-sentence investigation
report and Adams' statement of the time he was confined
prior to bonding out, the trial court refused to recognize
one day of actual jail time because Adams had not been in
jail for "twenty-four hours," which the court noted
was its view of the law until notified of caselaw to the
contrary. Tr. pp. 27-28.
Without citation to authority, the State argues that
"[a]lthough the award of credit is mandatory, it remains
within the trial court's discretion to make the factual
determination of whether the person in fact spent a
day in prison before awarding the credit."
Appellee's Br. p. 9. (emphasis added). The State's
position is that this factual determination is reviewed for
an abuse of discretion, citing Harding v. State, 27
N.E.3d 330, 331 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015). Additionally, the State
contends that "[g]iven that the Defendant failed to
establish the length of time he was actually in jail pending
his release, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in
not awarding Defendant credit time for one full
day." Appellee's Br. pp. 9-10. (emphasis
added). This argument is made despite Adams' ...