Purtlebaugh v. State, 22A-CR-792

Case DateSeptember 21, 2022
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Autumn Purtlebaugh, Appellant-Defendant,

State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 22A-CR-792

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 21, 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 Bartholomew Superior Court The Honorable James D. Worton, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 03D01-2102-F4-793

Attorney for Appellant

Benjamin Loheide

Law Office of Benjamin Loheide

Columbus, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee

Theodore E. Rokita

Attorney General of Indiana

Nicole D. Wiggins

Deputy Attorney General

Indianapolis, Indiana


Pyle, Judge.


Statement of the Case

[¶1] Autumn Purtlebaugh ("Purtlebaugh") pleaded guilty to battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman as a Level 5 felony,[1] and the trial court imposed an enhanced sentence of four years, with two and one-half years suspended to probation. Purtlebaugh argues that her enhanced sentence was an abuse of discretion because one of the aggravating factors the trial court recited-that Purtlebaugh's actions caused the victim to miscarry her child- was not supported by the record. Concluding that the record supported another aggravating factor, we find the trial court did not abuse its discretion and affirm Purtlebaugh's sentence.

[¶2] We affirm.


Whether the trial court abused its discretion when sentencing Purtlebaugh.


[¶3] Chelsey Stack ("Stack") was dating Brett Motley ("Motley"), who had previously dated Purtlebaugh. Purtlebaugh and Motley shared a child, and the relationship between Stack and Purtlebaugh was strained. In early February


2021, Stack was in the seventh week of her pregnancy. While Stack knew she was pregnant, she did not realize she was carrying twins.

[¶4] On February 5, 2021, Stack was staying at Motley's home, and three children were in the home. Purtlebaugh suddenly burst into the home, grabbed Stack by her hair, and repeatedly kicked her stomach. Stack vomited and her stomach was cramping, so she went to the hospital. An ultrasound showed that one of the twins had died. The physician who cared for Stack did not know when the baby had died or whether Purtlebaugh's attack on Stack had caused the baby to die, and the physician doubted that an obstetrician could determine whether Purtlebaugh's actions caused the baby to die.

[¶5] About ten days later, the State charged Purtlebaugh with: (1) Level 4 felony burglary; (2) Level 5 felony battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman; (3) Level 6 felony domestic battery; and (4) Class B misdemeanor battery by bodily waste. In February 2022, Purtlebaugh offered to plead guilty to battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant...

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