Swisher v. State

Decision Date30 August 2021
Docket Number21A-PC-789
PartiesChristopher M. Swisher, Appellant-Defendant, v. State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Christopher M. Swisher, Appellant-Defendant,
v.

State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 21A-PC-789

Court of Appeals of Indiana

August 30, 2021


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 Delaware Circuit Court The Honorable John M. Feick, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 18C04-1902-PC-2

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT

Amy E. Karozos

Public Defender of Indiana

Liisi Brien

Deputy Public Defender

Indianapolis, Indiana

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE

Theodore E. Rokita

Attorney General

Tiffany A. McCoy

Deputy Attorney General

Indianapolis, Indiana

MEMORANDUM DECISION

Vaidik, Judge.

Case Summary

[¶1] Christopher M. Swisher appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] In November 2018, Swisher and the State entered into a written plea agreement under which Swisher would plead guilty to three Level 6 felonies: theft, failure to register as a sex offender, and escape. The plea agreement provided Swisher had the right against self-incrimination, the right to trial by jury, and the right to confront his accusers-known as Boykin rights, see Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238 (1969)-and that he was waiving these rights by pleading guilty. See Appellant's App. Vol. II p. 114. The agreement was signed by Swisher, his attorney, and the deputy prosecutor. That same day, the trial court held a guilty-plea hearing and advised Swisher as follows:

As a person charged with a crime, you have certain rights and also those rights you waive by pleading guilty. You're entitled to an early, public trial by jury in the county in which the offense was allegedly committed, you're presumed innocent unless and until the State proves you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the right to confront all witnesses against you, to see, hear, question and cross examine those witnesses. You also have the right to have witnesses appear on your behalf and if necessary subpoenas shall be issued requiring them to appear. You have the right to be present and participate at any hearing or trial concerning the charges in this matter. However anything you say can be used against you. Do you understand by pleading guilty, you give up those rights
DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: I have in front of me a document entitled plea agreement. It contains the signature of your attorney and that of the deputy prosecutor. Is that your signature on this, also?
DEFENDANT: Yes, sir, it is.
THE COURT: Have you read and do you understand the agreement?
DEFENDANT: Yes, sir, I have.

Id. at 121-22 (emphasis added). The court accepted Swisher's guilty plea and sentenced him to five years.

[¶3] In 2019, Swisher filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief, which was later amended by counsel. Swisher alleged his guilty...

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