Layman and Sparks to be Re-Sentenced on January 7, 2016
According to https://case.in.gov, which tracks court records in Indiana, Blake Layman and Levi Sparks will be re-sentenced on Thursday January 7, 2016 in an Elkhart County Court. They will appear before Justice Terry Shoemaker who presided over the original 2013 trial.
Layman and Sparks were convicted of felony murder, in the same court in 2013, along with Anthony Sharp. It is anticipated that Mr. Sharp will also be re-sentenced at that time, although it is difficult to determine this using the Indiana Court Records Website (see note below). Layman, Sparks and Sharp appealed their 2013 convictions all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court. The Indiana Supreme Court vacated their convictions and has ordered that the three be re-sentenced for burglary.
Originally Layman and Sharp were sentenced to 55 years while Sparks was sentenced to 50 years in prison. The Indiana Court of Appeals reduced those sentences to 45 years. Now that the Indiana Supreme Court has determined that Layman, Sparks and Sharp are only guilty of burglary the maximum sentence they can receive is 20 years.
There is no word on how the recent victory at the Indiana Supreme Court will impact the case of Jose Quiroz the fourth member of the Elkhart 4 who accepted a plea deal. We will continue to monitor this case closely.
Difficulty Using the Indiana Court Records Website
It is important that public records are easily accessible for transparency. For the most part the Indiana Courts Public Records Website ( https://mycase.in.gov ) is a very good resource, but at times it does not seem to work. Searching for information on the case of Anthony Sharp proved to be difficult. The only record of an Anthony Sharp charged with murder in Elkhart County in 2012 states that a case was created in error. The same issue is true for Jose Quiroz.