McCain v. StateAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's sentence for voluntary manslaughter, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the sentence and that the sentence was not inappropriate given the nature of the offense and Defendant's character.
Defendant was charged with murder. The State later added an enhancement for knowingly or intentionally using a firearm in commission of the offense. The defense petitioned the trial court to include a jury instruction on the lesser-included offense of voluntary manslaughter. The trial court granted the petition, and the jury found Defendant guilty of voluntary manslaughter but not murder. During a bench trial on the firearm enhancement's applicability to Defendant's manslaughter conviction, the judge made multiple comments indicating he believed Defendant should have been convicted of murder. The trial court sentenced Defendant to forty-five years in prison. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial judge impermissibly increased his sentence based on the judge's beliefs about the case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the judge's comments disagreeing with the jury's verdict were insufficient to taint the sentencing decision; and (2) the sentence was not inappropriate in light of Defendant's character and the nature of the crime.