KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Kimbert Crafton’s request to reduce an appeal bond of $50,000 was denied Dec. 28, by Kosciusko Superior Court 3 Judge Joe Sutton.
The bond was initially requested, per state statute, following a request by Crafton’s attorney, Donald R. Shuler, Goshen, after an appeal of Crafton’s conviction was filed with the Indiana Court of Appeals.
While Shuler argued his client was not a flight risk due to having ties to the community, a job, an infant child, Sutton’s denial noted he felt Crafton would be a flight risk. Crafton has a case pending in the same court on a charge of impersonating a public official. That case is set for a jury trial March 6.
Crafton, 32, 609 W. Boston St., Syracuse, was sentenced by Kosciusko Superior Court 3 Judge Joe Sutton in late October 2017 for 5 ½ years in the county jail and six months probation on a charge of attempted theft, theft and resisting law enforcement. He noted at that time he would appeal his sentence.
The brief filed with the court of appeals notes two issues seeking review by the higher court: if the trial court’s statements and advisements during Crafton’s sentencing hearing nullifies any waiver of his right to seek appellate review of his sentence; and whether the trial court’s aggregate six-year sentence and a restitution order more than $20,000 constitutes an abuse of discretion and is inappropriate considering the nature of the offense and character of the offender.
The appeal is asking the court to find he did not waive his right to challenge his sentence on appeal and, upon review, his sentence is inappropriate an the order of restitution is an abuse of discretion, order a new hearing on the restitution amount, and be limited to $8,011.06.
A summary of the argument states Crafton did not knowingly and voluntarily waive his right to challenge his sentence. It is noted the plea agreement contained such language, but he was explicitly advised at his sentencing he had the right to appeal and was appointed counsel for the appeal. The argument is with these factors, any waiver of Crafton’s right to appeal his sentence should be considered a nullity.
The document also notes the argument the aggregate sentence imposed should be considered inappropriate under the nature of the offense and character of the offender. “The facts of the offenses Kimbert pleaded to are minimal, constituting the bare elements of the offense. More significantly, Kimbert’s plea speaks to his character of accepting responsibility for his actions.” The document notes the court’s imposition of an order of restitution as a term of probation, when the order included restitution on a charge that was dismissed, is an abuse of discretion and should be modified by the court of appeals.