Swisher v. State, Court of Appeals Case No. 21A-PC-789

Citation173 N.E.3d 1075
Case DateAugust 30, 2021
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

173 N.E.3d 1075 (Table)

Christopher M. SWISHER, Appellant-Defendant,
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Court of Appeals Case No. 21A-PC-789

Court of Appeals of Indiana.

FILED August 30, 2021

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


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,...

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