Three of the Elkhart 4 are Re-Sentenced

Today Blake Layman, Levi Sparks and Anthony Sharp were re-sentenced in Elkhart County.

Blake Layman was given 10 years for burglary.



Levi Sparks was given 9 years for burglary.

Anthony Sharp was given 10 years for burglary.

There is a very good chance that Blake and Levi will leave prison in 2016.  Blake, Levi and Anthony were re-sentenced under the old sentencing guidelines (the guidelines that were current in October 2012 when the burglaries were committed).  Under those guidelines there can be a 50% sentencing reduction for good conduct while in prison and further reductions for completing programs.  Both Layman and Sparks will get credit for completing their GED and other programs.  Both Layman and Sparks should be proud of these accomplishments.

Unfortunately when it comes to the case of Anthony Sharp the Elkhart Truth reported the following:

Shewmaker did not take into account that Sharp has accumulated 16 conduct violations in jail, and that he was kicked out of the GED program.

We here at are very disappointed to have learned this.  There are many people who have spent time advocating for the Elkhart Four, including Anthony,  and we have high hopes and high expectations for these individuals.  It is obvious that Sharp will not get the same credit for good conduct and educational success that Layman and Sparks got – this is a result of Anthony’s poor decisions.  We encourage, expect and hope that Anthony Sharp returns to prison and works towards completing his education and improving his conduct.



Jose-GraduationNow that the re-sentencing of Blake, Levi and Anthony has finished we continue to ask a very important question . . how is it justice that Jose Quiroz keeps a 45 year sentence and Layman gets a 10 year sentence for the same crime and the same facts?  On January 14, 2016 there will be a status hearing for Jose’s pose conviction relief request.  We hope that what happened today is an indication of what will happen for Jose in the future.

We do know, that like Blake Layman and Levi Sparks, Jose Quiroz has completed his GED during his time in prison.  We congratulate him for that success.  We hope he maintains a positive attitude and continues to work towards his release.

Justice for the Elkhart 4 means all members of the Elkhart 4.  

Today was a good day for Blake and Levi.  As advocates for the Elkhart 4 we were very proud to learn of the academic success they have experienced and their good prison record.  We were proud of Blake when he took responsibility and said,

“Rodney Scott was right,” . . . . “It shouldn’t have happened and I apologize it did.”

We are glad that the injustice of the felony murder charge has been corrected in the case of Anthony Sharp, but we are also disappointed in Anthony’s apparent conduct and we feel it is important to publicly state this.

Our final thought is our concern that the future of this case will move away from the spotlight and be ignored . . . .and a 16 year old kid who had 44 days to decide his future will be left to suffer a huge injustice.  We can’t forget, we must remember . . . .