INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Supreme Court Justices have denied the request by Scott Leon Wilkins, Milford, to transfer his appeal to that court. All justices concurred with the decision Jan. 19.
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the March 16, 2016, sentencing of Wilkins by Kosciusko Superior Court 3 Judge Joe Sutton. That ruling was appealed by asking the case be transferred to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Wilkins was sentenced to 15 years to the Indiana Department of Corrections for the Dec. 27, 2014, death of Kami Ellis, 27, Nappanee, on CR 1350N. He is housed at Westville Correctional Facility. He was sentenced to nine years on the charge of causing the death of another person when operating a vehicle and six years for failure to comply with acts of a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in death. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively. He also received a 10-year suspended driver’s license. His earliest possible release date is April 1, 2026.
The appeal to the Supreme Court seeks the answer to two questions:
- If the Court of Appeals erred by significantly departing from law and practice by not entertaining and then finding an abuse of discretion in the trial court’s sentencing statement; or, in the alternative, whether the decision of another case used in reference, needs reconsideration or clarification.
- Whether the Court of Appeals erred by significantly departing from law and practice by affirming the trial court’s imposition of an aggregate 15-year sentence considering the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.
His initial appeal was filed April 17 by Don Shuler with Barkes, Kolbus, Rife & Shuler LLP, Goshen. The issue was whether the trial court abused its discretion in finding certain aggravators and rejecting certain mitigators, and if the resultant 15-year aggregate sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the defendant. Shuler filed a 27-page brief with the court Aug. 1.
The state’s rebuttal was filed Aug. 31, arguing each point referenced by Shuler. In its 27-page response, the state concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion at sentencing and the resulting sentence is not inappropriate, asking the court of appeals to affirm the trial court in all respects.
The Court of Appeals issued its ruling Sept. 29. A number of points were made by the justices during their discussion and decision on the two topics of abuse of discretion and inappropriate sentence.
- Wilkins Loses First Appeal, Seeking Higher Court Ruling
- Wilkins To Appeal 15-Year Sentence
- Wilkins Found Guilty On Two Of Three Counts
- Closing Arguments Presented In Wilkins Trial
- Defense Rests, Case Going To Jury
- Prosecution Rests In Scott Wilkins Trial
- Jury Reviews Medical Documents
- Further Evidence Presented In Wilkins Trial
- Wilkins Trial Continues
- State Begins Presenting Its Case
- Jury Trial Begins In 2014 Fatal Accident
- Two Arrested Following Saturday Traffic Fatality
- Victim In Saturday’s Crash Identified
- One Dies In Fatal Accident Near Milford