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Martin v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 20, 2019

James E. Martin, Jr., Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Vanderburgh Circuit Court Trial Court Cause No. 82C01-1711-F6-6734 The Honorable Kelli E. Fink, Magistrate Judge

          Attorney for Appellant Karen M. Heard Vanderburgh County Public Defender's Office Evansville, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Jesse R. Drum Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Darden, Senior Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] James E. Martin, Jr., appeals the trial court's issuance of a restitution order in the amount of $2, 000 after Martin pleaded guilty to auto theft, a Level 6 felony.[1] We affirm.

         Issue

         [¶2] Martin raises one issue, which we restate as: whether the trial court's restitution order is supported by sufficient evidence.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] Cheryl Fenwick owned a 1987 Jeep Comanche with a camper shell. The Jeep needed a new clutch plate and a new driver's side window, but it was otherwise functional. Fenwick discovered that the Jeep had been removed from a parking lot near her home without her permission, and she called local salvage yards in an attempt to find it. She learned that the Jeep had been sold for scrap to a particular salvage yard on August 2, 2017. Fenwick called the police.

         [¶4] A detective with the Evansville Police Department went to the salvage yard to investigate. During his investigation, he learned that the Jeep had been partially crushed, and several parts had been removed. The detective further learned that Martin had sold the Jeep to the salvage yard for $121.60 as scrap. As part of the sales process, Martin had signed an affidavit stating that he owned the Jeep.

         [¶5] Martin was brought to police headquarters. During questioning, he admitted that he had: (1) arranged to have the Jeep towed to the salvage yard; (2) signed a document at the salvage yard affirming that he was the Jeep's owner; and (3) received money for the Jeep.

         [¶6] On November 1, 2017, the State charged Martin with auto theft, a Level 6 felony, and further alleged that Martin was an habitual offender. On August 28, 2018, the parties entered into a plea agreement involving two pending cases against Martin. In the current case, Martin agreed to plead guilty to auto theft, and the State agreed to dismiss the habitual offender enhancement. The parties further agreed that if the trial court accepted the agreement, Martin would serve six months in the Indiana Department of Correction. Finally, Martin agreed and promised "to make full and complete restitution in an amount to be determined by the court." Appellant's App. Vol. II, p. 21.

         [¶7] On September 18, 2018, the victim, via the State, filed with the trial court a claim for restitution. Fenwick asserted in her claim that she was entitled to $3, 500 for the loss of the Jeep and attached to the claim copies of ...


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