Graves v. State, 011119 INCA, 18A-CR-1937

Docket Nº:18A-CR-1937
Opinion Judge:Bradford, Judge.
Party Name:Aaron M. Graves, Appellant-Defendant, v. State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
Attorney:Attorney for Appellant Mark A. Thoma Deputy Public Defender Leonard, Hammond, Thoma & Terrill Fort Wayne, Indiana. Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Monika Prekopa Talbot Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana.
Judge Panel:Bailey, J., and Brown, J., concur.
Case Date:January 11, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Indiana
 
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Aaron M. Graves, Appellant-Defendant,

v.

State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 18A-CR-1937

Court of Appeals of Indiana

January 11, 2019

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 Hon. Wendy W. Davis, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 02D04-1701-F6-49

Attorney for Appellant Mark A. Thoma Deputy Public Defender Leonard, Hammond, Thoma & Terrill Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Monika Prekopa Talbot Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

Bradford, Judge.

Case Summary

[¶1] In February of 2017, Aaron Graves consumed a large amount of alcohol, got behind the wheel of his vehicle, and caused another driver to collide with him when Graves suddenly turned in front of him. Although Graves attempted to flee the scene of the accident on foot, he was arrested and his blood alcohol concentration ("BAC") was determined to be 0.348 g/ml. Graves (1) was convicted of obstruction of justice, leaving the scene of an accident, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated ("OWI") with a prior conviction; (2) stipulated to being a habitual vehicular substance offender; and (3) was sentenced to an aggregate term of ten years of incarceration, with four years suspended and one year of probation. Graves contends that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him, his sentence is inappropriately harsh, and his sentence is disproportionate to the nature of his offense. Because we disagree, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] On the evening of January 14, 2017, Frederick Wricks was driving in Fort Wayne when Graves suddenly turned in front of him, causing Wricks's vehicle to collide with Graves's. A man who lived nearby ran to Graves's smoking vehicle, unbuckled his seatbelt, and pulled him out. Graves took a bottle of dark liquor from the passenger's seat and began to leave. When the man told Graves to stop, Graves walked away. Graves still had the liquor bottle, and his breath smelled of alcohol. As police approached, Graves went behind a tree, took a "swig" from the bottle, and threw it away. Tr. Vol. I p. 210. After Graves's arrest, his blood was drawn and his BAC was determined to be 0.348 g/ml. It was also determined that 260 ml of liquor was missing from the bottle Graves threw away and if that was all Graves had had to drink that day, his BAC could have been no greater than 0.14 g/ml.

[¶3] On January 18, 2017, the State charged Graves with Level 6 felony obstruction of justice, Level 6 felony OWI with a prior conviction, Class A misdemeanor OWI endangering a person, and Class A misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident, also alleging him to be a habitual vehicular substance offender. On July 18, 2018, a jury found Graves guilty as charged and he stipulated to all of the enhancements. On July 25, 2018, the trial court sentenced Graves to concurrent terms of two years of incarceration for obstruction of...

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