Gaff v. State, 22A-CR-827

Case DateSeptember 15, 2022
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Geordi J. Gaff, Appellant-Defendant,

State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 22A-CR-827

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 15, 2022

Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the Allen Superior Court The Honorable Frances C. Gull, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 02D05-2103-F5-92

Attorney for Appellant

Thomas C. Allen Fort Wayne, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee

Theodore E. Rokita Attorney General of Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana

Sierra A. Murray Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

Matthew Strother Certified Legal Intern Indianapolis, Indiana




[¶1] Geordi J. Gaff appeals his three-year aggregate sentence for one count of Level 5 felony domestic battery[1] and two counts of Level 6 felony domestic battery.[2]He argues his sentence is inappropriate based on the nature of the crime and his character. We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] Shortly after midnight on March 1, 2021, Gaff argued with his mother, Lisa Nelson, about a cell phone. Gaff's sister, Nicole Gaff, told him to leave. Gaff slapped Nicole on the face and left. Gaff's nephew, C.G., who was twelve years old at the time, witnessed the altercation.

[¶3] Later that day, Gaff broke into the apartment where Lisa, Nicole, and C.G. were staying and started "beating the shit out of everyone." (App. Vol. II at 24.) Specifically, Gaff "jumped on top" of Lisa and "started punching her." (Id. at 28.) Nicole tried to get Gaff off of Lisa, so Gaff punched Nicole several times and threw Nicole to the ground. C.G. "woke up because he heard fighting in the living room." (Id. at 22.) C.G. helped Nicole pull Gaff off of Lisa. Gaff subsequently punched C.G. "several times in the stomach." (Id.) When Gaff heard the police were coming, he left the scene. Officers later located Gaff and took him into custody.


[¶4] The State charged Gaff with one count of Level 5 domestic battery for the alleged crimes against C.G. and two counts of Level 6 domestic battery for the alleged crimes against Lisa and Nicole. On May 10, 2021, Gaff pled guilty as charged and the trial court placed Gaff in a Drug Court Diversion Program ("Drug Court"), which allowed Gaff to participate in substance abuse treatment and other related programs. Upon completion of the program, the trial court would dismiss all counts in the matter.

[¶5] Drug Court required Gaff to, among other things, submit to random drug screens and follow all treatment required. On July 30, 2021, August 2, 2021, and December 17, 2021, Gaff missed drug screens. On December 14, 2021, he tested positive for alcohol. On December 15, 2021, Gaff submitted a diluted drug screen. On February 17, 2022, Gaff, while in treatment at Park Center Addiction Residential facility ("Park Center"), "got frustrated . . . so he left without permission[.]" (Tr. Vol. II at 24.) On February 22, 2022, Gaff did not appear at a scheduled Drug Court status hearing, so the trial court issued a warrant for his arrest.

[¶6] On February 22, 2022, the State filed a petition to terminate Gaff's participation in Drug Court based on his discharge from Park Center. On March 14, 2022, the State amended that petition to include Gaff's failure to appear in court on February 22, 2022, as a reason supporting the revocation of Gaff's participation in Drug Court. On March 14, 2022, the trial court held a hearing during which Gaff admitted violating the terms and conditions of Drug Court. Based thereon, the trial court revoked his participation in Drug Court and scheduled a


sentencing hearing. At the April 8, 2022, sentencing, the trial court entered convictions on Gaff's three guilty pleas and sentenced him to three years for the Level 5 felony and one year each for the Level 6 felonies. The court ordered the sentences to run concurrent with one another for an aggregate sentence of three years incarcerated, with 164 days jail credit.

Discussion and Decision

[¶7] Gaff argues his three-year sentence is inappropriate based on the nature of his crime and his character....

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