Home | Subscriptions | Classifieds | Submit News | Contact | Links | Jennings County Living
North Vernon Plain Dealer Sun | North Vernon, IN
"It Shines for All!"North Vernon, IndianaLocally Owned and Operated Since 1862
North Vernon, Indiana, weather forecast
weather sponsored by


August 6, 2020

7/8/2020 1:55:00 PM
Court upholds judge's sentences
Stephon Moore appeals
The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld Stephon Moore's 95-year sentence pronounced by Circuit Court Judge Jon Webster on Oct. 30, 2019.

A jury of his peers determined Moore was guilty of murdering Donavan Booker after shooting hi in the back and of the attempted murder of Larry Evans, Booker's friend, as he attempted to flee after the shooting.

An appeal in such a case is automatic, with court-appointed attorney Patrick Magrath of Madison handling the revie. He based the appeal on 2 issues:

1. Self defense: During the trial, the defense argued that Moore had acted in self defense when he shot Booker and that the state "failed to present sufficient evidence to rebut" the claim.

However, the Appeals Court did not agree. The decision noted that Moore went armed to the scene of the exoected fist fight; brandished his gun before the fight; entered the fight by kicking Larry Evans off the person he was fighting with, Frank Bailey; that he brandished the weapon a second time when Donavan defended himself from Fashion Ellis, who came to the scene with Moore; that Moore shot Donavan after Donavan saw the gun and turned away to flee; and lastly, that Moore shot at Larry's back as Larry ran away from the shooting. Three eyewitnesses testified Moore did not face harm when he shot at the 2 men.

2. Inapproriate Sentence: Magrath argued the 95-year sentence was "inappropriate" because of the offenses and Moore's character.

The Appeals Court reviews any sentence to determine if it is "inappropriate." In doing so, the justice looks at the "advisory sentence" as outlined by state law. The sentence range for murder is from 45 to 65 years, with the advisory being 55.

The sentence for attempted murder ranges from 20 to 40 years, with the advisory being 30.

The Appeals Court noted Judge Webster did not impose the maximum sentence on either count.

The character of the defendant also plays a role in the sentencing. The Appeals Court noted Moore was 31 when sentenced; and had been convicted of 8 misdemeanors, mostly drugs. He was rated as a "high risk" to reoffend.

Concluding, the Court confirmed that the state did present enough evidence to rebut the claim of self defense and that his 95-year sentence "is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and his character."

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Sawyer Pickett
House Web Advertising
Nat Head
IN Cov
A1 Taxi
Hensley Don Herr Estate

© 2012 North Vernon Plain Dealer and Sun
PO Box 988, 528 East O&M Ave
North Vernon, IN 47265
Telephone 812.346.3973
All images on this site are property of the North Vernon Plain Dealer and Sun and may not be reproduced without consent of the publisher.

Software © 1998-2020 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved