ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE
Scott A. Kinsey Jeffrey A. Modisett
Kinsey Law Firm Attorney General of Indiana
Suzann Weber Lupton
Deputy Attorney General
INDIANA SUPREME COURT
TIMOTHY EVANS )
v. ) 91S04-0003-CR-216
STATE OF INDIANA, )
APPEAL FROM THE WHITE SUPERIOR COURT
The Honorable Robert W. Roth, Judge
Cause No. 91D01-9607-CF-00081
On Petition To Transfer
March 24, 2000
The defendant-appellant, Timothy Evans, was convicted of dealing in cocaine, a class A
felony, for knowingly or intentionally delivering cocaine in an amount weighing greater than
three grams. He received a sentence of fifty years. The Court
of Appeals affirmed in a memorandum decision. The defendant seeks transfer.
Among the issues presented is a claim that the sentence is manifestly unreasonable.
The trial court determined that the presumptive sentence of thirty years should
be enhanced by twenty years, thereby imposing the maximum class A felony sentence
of fifty years. This Court may revise a criminal sentence that is
manifestly unreasonable in light of the nature of the offense and the character
of the offender. Ind. Appellate Rule 17(B). In determining whether a
sentence is manifestly unreasonable, the issue is not whether in our judgment the
sentence is unreasonable, but whether it is clearly, plainly, and obviously so.
Echols v. State, 722 N.E.2d 805, 809 (Ind. 2000) (quoting Bunch v. State,
697 N.E.2d 1255, 1258 (Ind. 1998) (quoting Prowell v. State, 687 N.E.2d 563,
568 (Ind. 1997))).
Purveyors of cocaine and illegal narcotic drugs are a menace to society.
Our legislature has determined that the crime of knowingly or intentionally delivering cocaine
weighing three grams or more is so reprehensible that it warrants sentencing as
a class A felony.
See footnote This class of high sentencing severity also applies
to other major crimes including, for example, kidnapping,See footnote rape while armed with a
deadly weapon,See footnote robbery resulting in serious bodily injury,See footnote arson resulting in bodily injury,See footnote
and burglary resulting in bodily injury.See footnote
The punishment prescribed by statute for
a conviction for a class A felony is imprisonment for a fixed term
of thirty years, with not more than twenty years added for aggravating circumstances
or not more than ten years subtracted for mitigating circumstances.
See footnote As to
the crime of dealing in cocaine, the maximum available sentence as a class
A felony would be fifty years regardless whether the quantity of cocaine involved
was three grams or three tons. The maximum possible sentences are generally
most appropriate for the worst offenders.
See Buchanan v. State, 699 N.E.2d
655, 657 (Ind. 1998); Bacher v. State, 686 N.E.2d 791, 802 (Ind. 1997).
When he committed this offense, the defendant was nineteen years old. The
crime occurred when a confidential police informant, wearing a body wire and carrying
marked money, went to the defendants home. The defendants mother permitted him
to enter and advised him that the defendant was asleep in his room.
The police informant woke the defendant and asked if he had any
drugs for sale. The defendant responded that he had obtained two ounces
of cocaine, but had already sold one and one-half ounces, so he could
sell the informant only one-quarter of an ounce. The two agreed on
a price of $325. The informant paid $225 and then left to
get the rest of the money, taking with him the 6.55 grams (approximately
one-quarter of an ounce) of cocaine purchased. The trial evidence also revealed
that the same informant attempted to make another cocaine purchase from the defendant,
but that the defendant refused, expressing concern for the informant's new family.
The defendant's comments to the informant, however, indicated the defendant's intention to continue
Despite his youth, the defendant had already accumulated a record of unlawful activity.
He had three juvenile adjudications for offenses that would be felonies if
committed by an adult (theft, criminal trespass, and auto theft) and one adult
misdemeanor conviction for receiving stolen property. None of the offenses involved violence,
but the defendant was already on probation at the time of this offense
and had also previously violated his juvenile probation.
We conclude that, in light of the nature of the offense and the
character of the offender, the maximum sentence allowed by law for dealing in
cocaine as a class A felony is clearly, plainly, and obviously unreasonable in
this case. We grant transfer and vacate the fifty-year sentence and remand
to the trial court with instructions to impose the presumptive sentence of thirty
years. We otherwise summarily affirm the opinion of the Court of Appeals.
SHEPARD, C.J., and BOEHM and RUCKER, JJ., concur. SULLIVAN, J., concurs in
Ind. Code § 35-48-4-1.
Ind. Code § 35-42-3-2.
Ind. Code § 35-42-4-1.
Ind. Code § 35-42-5-1.
Ind. Code § 35-43-1-1.
Ind. Code § 35-43-2-1.
Ind. Code § 35-50-2-4.