McRoy v. State, No. 82A01-0301-CR-6.

Docket NºNo. 82A01-0301-CR-6.
Citation794 N.E.2d 539
Case DateAugust 29, 2003
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

794 N.E.2d 539

Donald Leo McROY, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 82A01-0301-CR-6.

Court of Appeals of Indiana.

August 29, 2003.


794 N.E.2d 541
Matthew Jon McGovern, Louisville, KY, Attorney for Appellant

Steve Carter, Attorney General of Indiana, Andrew A. Kobe, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.

794 N.E.2d 540
OPINION

BAILEY, Judge.

Case Summary

Appellant-Defendant Donald Leo McRoy ("McRoy") was convicted of Battery, a Class A Misdemeanor,1 and was adjudicated a habitual offender. McRoy appeals the trial court's ruling on his motion to correct error, which stayed execution of a $5,000 fine and $132 in court costs for more than seven months after McRoy had served the executed portion of his sentence. We affirm in part and vacate in part.

Issue

McRoy raises two issues, which we consolidate and restate as whether the trial court had authority to issue an order staying execution of the fine and court costs.

Facts and Procedural History

On December 6, 2001, McRoy struck Donald Reiner with a sledgehammer and logging chain during a fight. McRoy was appointed a public defender after he was charged with Attempted Murder and Aggravated Battery. A jury convicted McRoy of Battery.

The trial court sentenced McRoy to a maximum term of one year executed with 155 days credit, making McRoy eligible for release on December 21, 2002. The trial court also imposed the maximum fine of $5,000, along with court costs of $132. Defense counsel filed a motion to correct error, alleging that the trial court erred by not holding an indigency hearing to determine McRoy's ability to pay the fine and court costs.

At the December 4, 2001 hearing on the motion to correct error, McRoy testified that he alternated living with his wife and his girlfriend and that he owned no automobiles, stocks, bonds, or collectibles. His most valuable possession was his clothing. He also stated that, although he planned to work after his incarceration, he would not be able to pay the $5,000 fine and $132 in court costs due to his child support obligations. In response to McRoy's motion to correct error, the trial court stayed execution of the order until July 31, 2003. McRoy requested specific findings that he was indigent and that he would not be imprisoned for failing to pay the fine and court courts. The trial court agreed that McRoy could not be imprisoned for failure to pay the fine and court costs prior to July 31, 2003, but concluded, "[T]hat's something I'll have to decide on that date." (Motion to Correct Error Tr. 15).

When McRoy asked if the trial court had deferred the indigency hearing until July, the court replied:

If we punish someone for not paying user fees on a probation program even though they may not have money, if the individual had the opportunity to and the ability to engage in gainful employment but voluntarily chose not to do that, then the individual can be punished for failing to pay.
....
794 N.E.2d 542
And I'm giving the defendant until July 31, 2003, to pay the fine and costs because I believe he is and always has been for all times relevant able bodied and capable of gainful employment.

(Motion Correct Error Tr. 14). McRoy informed the trial court that he had no funds to hire appellate counsel, and the trial court appointed a public defender to serve as his counsel for purposes of appeal. This appeal ensued.

Discussion and Decision

A. Standard of Review

Generally, sentencing decisions are committed to the sound discretion of the trial court, and we will reverse a decision only upon a showing of a manifest abuse of discretion. Like v. State, 760 N.E.2d 1188, 1191 (Ind.Ct.App.2002), modified on reh'g on other grounds, 766 N.E.2d 416 (Ind.Ct.App.2002). An abuse of discretion occurs if the court's decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the court. Palmer v. State, 704 N.E.2d 124, 127 (Ind. 1999). However, the trial court's sentencing authority is derived only from the legislature and, therefore, must conform to statutory parameters. Gilreath v. State, 748 N.E.2d 919, 920 (Ind.Ct.App.2001).2 Thus, to the extent that this case rests upon statutory interpretation, our review is de novo. Ashley v. State, 757 N.E.2d 1037, 1039 (Ind.Ct.App.2001). As such, we independently review the meaning of the relevant statutes and apply the meaning to the facts. Bush v. State, 772 N.E.2d 1020, 1023 (Ind.Ct.App.2002), trans. denied. Further, penal statutes are to be strictly construed against the State to avoid enlarging them by intendment or implication beyond the fair meaning of the language used. State v. Gibbs, 769 N.E.2d 594, 596 (Ind.Ct.App.2002), trans denied.

B. Analysis

McRoy...

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3 practice notes
  • Bostick v. State, No. 33A01-0308-CR-281.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 4 Marzo 2004
    ...if the trial court's decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the court. McRoy v. State, 794 N.E.2d 539 (Ind.Ct.App.2003). In order for a trial court to impose enhanced or consecutive sentences, it must (1) identify the significant aggravating f......
  • Groff v. City of Butler, No. 17A03-0303-CV-78.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 29 Agosto 2003
    ...trans. denied (citation omitted). Waste has been defined to include garbage, trash, and "the undigested residue of food eliminated 794 N.E.2d 539 from the body, excrement." See American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.) website available at http://www.bartelby.com (last ......
  • Jackson v. State , No. 20A03–1105–CR–222.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 6 Junio 2012
    ...cases have concluded that appointment of counsel affords only a presumption of indigency at the time of sentencing. See McRoy v. State, 794 N.E.2d 539, 543 n. 3 (Ind.Ct.App.2003), clarified on reh'g,798 N.E.2d 521 (Ind.Ct.App.2003). We do not know, however, whether the trial court attempted......
3 cases
  • Bostick v. State, No. 33A01-0308-CR-281.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 4 Marzo 2004
    ...if the trial court's decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the court. McRoy v. State, 794 N.E.2d 539 (Ind.Ct.App.2003). In order for a trial court to impose enhanced or consecutive sentences, it must (1) identify the significant aggravating f......
  • Groff v. City of Butler, No. 17A03-0303-CV-78.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 29 Agosto 2003
    ...trans. denied (citation omitted). Waste has been defined to include garbage, trash, and "the undigested residue of food eliminated 794 N.E.2d 539 from the body, excrement." See American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.) website available at http://www.bartelby.com (last ......
  • Jackson v. State , No. 20A03–1105–CR–222.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • 6 Junio 2012
    ...cases have concluded that appointment of counsel affords only a presumption of indigency at the time of sentencing. See McRoy v. State, 794 N.E.2d 539, 543 n. 3 (Ind.Ct.App.2003), clarified on reh'g,798 N.E.2d 521 (Ind.Ct.App.2003). We do not know, however, whether the trial court attempted......

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