Hutchison v. State, Court of Appeals Case No. 48A02-1702-CR-340.

Citation82 N.E.3d 305
Case DateAugust 10, 2017
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

82 N.E.3d 305

Derek HUTCHISON, Appellant-Defendant,
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

Court of Appeals Case No. 48A02-1702-CR-340.

Court of Appeals of Indiana.

August 10, 2017

Attorney for Appellant : Anthony C. Lawrence, Anderson, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee : Curtis T. Hill, Jr., Attorney General of Indiana, George P. Sherman, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana

Bradford, Judge.

Case Summary

1] In 2006, Appellant-Respondent Derek Hutchison pled guilty but mentally ill to Class B felony rape. In exchange for Hutchison's guilty plea, Appellee-Petitioner the State of Indiana ("the State") agreed to dismiss other pending charges. The trial court accepted Hutchison's guilty plea and sentenced him to a term of twenty years, with fifteen years executed in the Department of Correction ("DOC") and five years suspended to probation.

[2] On November 4, 2016, the State filed a petition alleging that Hutchison had violated the terms of his probation by committing several new criminal offenses, including unlawful entry by a serious sex offender. An evidentiary hearing was conducted on January 10, 2017, at which Hutchison was represented by an attorney. At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court found that Hutchison had violated the terms of his probation. Thereafter, the trial court revoked Hutchison's probation and ordered him to serve the entire five-year, previously-suspended sentence. Neither Hutchison, who claims to suffer from mental illness, nor his attorney requested a competency hearing at any time before or during the evidentiary hearing.

[3] On appeal, Hutchison contends that the trial court committed fundamental error by failing to conduct a competency hearing before revoking his probation. Concluding otherwise, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[4] Our memorandum decision in Hutchinson's prior direct appeal, which was handed down on November 16, 2007, instructs us to the underlying facts and procedural history which have led to the instant probation revocation proceeding:

On February 14, 2006, eighteen-year-old Hutchison accompanied his mother to St. Joseph's Hospital in Anderson after she complained of a fever. At some point that evening or after midnight, Hutchison began roaming around the hospital.

[82 N.E.3d 307

Initially, he entered the room of eighty-five-year-old patient L.A. L.A. awoke to find Hutchison sitting on her bed and rubbing his hand across her face. L.A. stated she "fear[ed] for her life." Appellant's Appendix at 76. As he left her bedside, Hutchison ran his hand along L.A.'s breast.

Shortly after leaving L.A.'s room, Hutchison entered the room of ninety-two-year-old L.E., also a patient at the hospital. L.E. was comatose and had various medical devices assisting her, including an IV, an oxygen machine, and a waste extraction tube. After attempting to wake L.E., Hutchison lifted L.E.'s hospital gown, climbed on top of her, and had vaginal intercourse with her for approximately two to three minutes.

Anderson police officers responding to these incidents found Hutchison hiding in a basement office of the hospital. The door to the office was locked, but Hutchison had gained access by climbing over a wall that separated the office from the hospital's common area. When officers apprehended Hutchison, he was carrying a plastic tub that contained various items, including personal planners, soft drinks, candy, and music CDs, all of which were hospital property.

The State charged Hutchison with burglary, a Class C felony; theft, a Class D felony; and sexual battery, a Class D felony, based on the incidents in the basement office and with L.A. Shortly thereafter, the State charged Hutchison with rape, a Class B felony, based on the incident with L.E. The parties agreed that Hutchison would plead guilty to the rape charge and that the State would dismiss the burglary, theft, and sexual battery charges. Sentencing was left to the trial court's discretion, except that the executed portion of Hutchison's sentence could not exceed fifteen years.

After accepting Hutchison's plea of guilty but mentally ill, the trial court conducted a sentencing hearing. Thereafter the trial court issued a sentencing statement, which reads in relevant part as follows:

The Court finds aggravation: 1) Prior juvenile criminal and delinquent acts; 2) The defendant is in need or correctional and/or rehabilitative services that can best be provided by commitment to a penal facility; 3) The advanced age of the victim; 4) The victim was physically infirm at the time of the instant offense; and 5) Prior attempts at rehabilitation have not been successful. The Court finds mitigation: 1) The defendant plead [sic] guilty to the Instant Offense, saving the State the time and cost of a trial; 2) Defendant has a pattern of mental illness and diagnosis, none of which constitutes a defense; and 3) Defendant's highly dysfunctional home environment and a life of instability.

Id . at 113. Based on these findings, the trial court sentenced Hutchison to a total sentence of twenty years, with fifteen years executed and five suspended.

Hutchison v. State , 48A02-1611-CR-1059, *1-2, 876 N.E.2d 812 (Ind. Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2007) (footnote omitted). Hutchinson's sentence was affirmed on direct appeal. Id . at *4. In affirming Hutchinson's sentence, we noted the following about his mental state:

The record discloses a history of psychiatric treatment and mental illness. The PSI states Hutchison was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when he was three years old and, following an evaluation, was recommended for placement in a psychiatric facility as early as 2002. However, two psychiatric evaluations prepared for a competency hearing conclude Hutchison
82 N.E.3d 308
"is capable of determining right from wrong and can understand the wrongfulness of his behavior....," appellant's app. at 79, and that although Hutchison "presents himself as someone who is unable to control behavior and does not even remember his behavior.... [H]e was able to understand the wrongfulness of the conduct at the time of the offense and does not have a psychiatric disorder that interferes with that," id . at 83.

Moreover, Hutchison's statements at the sentencing hearing do not indicate any nexus between his mental illness and the offense. Describing his illness as a "demonic spirit," Hutchison initially credited, but ultimately disavowed, his illness's role in the commission of the crime:

What I feel I did was wrong, stupid, it was out of this world. I mean, sometimes I feel like it was a demonic spirit pulling me in and I had smoked, I mean, I had a [sic] very first experience with marijuana that day, had smoked like a quarter of a joint, but I do not use that as an excuse for my behavior. Nothing is. Not even the demonic spirit. What I did was completely intentional and I take full responsibility for it.

Id . at 150.

Id . at *3. Hutchison was released from incarceration and placed on probation on or about October 21, 2016.

5] On November 4, 2016, the State filed a petition alleging that Hutchison had violated the terms of his probation...

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