Mitchener seeks change of placement

Friday, November 6, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- The attorney for a Roachdale woman convicted in July stealing more than $56,000 from the special education cooperative for which she worked has filed a motion for change of place of confinement on behalf of his client.

Greencastle attorney Robert C. Perry filed the request for Tammy Y. Mitchener, 33, who is now incarcerated at the Indiana Women's Prison. On July 23, Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley handed Mitchener a five-year prison sentence, with three years executed and two years to be spent on probation.

Mitchener pled guilty to one count of Class C felony corrupt business influence and one count of Class D felony theft. Under the terms of her plea agreement, five other felony counts pending against her were dismissed.

Perry filed the motion for change of place of confinement on Wednesday.

"As of the date of this motion, the defendant has served approximately three months and two weeks in custody at the Indiana Department of Corrections," Perry wrote. "Defendant submits that any rehabilitative benefit by incarceration in the Department of Correction has been received."

Perry goes on in the motion to say that Mitchener's restitution debts will be substantial upon her release, and that if she were to be placed on home detention with electronic monitoring she "could begin working and meeting her restitution responsibilities."

In a response prepared by Putnam County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long, the state objected vehemently to Perry's motion.

"Paragraph five of the (plea) agreement contained an express waiver of the defendant's right to seek modification of her sentence," Long wrote.

In Long's opinion, Perry calling his request a "motion for change in place of confinement" wasn't accurate, and he asked that the motion be denied without a hearing.

"Calling this a 'motion for change in place of confinement' does not change the fact that it is a request for sentence modification," he wrote. "The court accepted the agreement, and it is contractual in nature."

Long also called the motion "a disingenuous attempt to backdoor the state and get around the clear language of the agreement," and accused Perry of using "deceitful wordplay."

"To grant the defendant's motion would not only be a violation of the plea agreement, but would also send the wrong message to the public and undermine their trust in our criminal justice system," Long wrote.

At Mitchener's sentencing, Headley called her crime "one of the worst crimes of dishonesty that I've ever seen in Putnam County," and lamented that he could not sentence her to more prison time.

Mitchener was arrested on Dec. 2. She bonded out of jail the same day, and did not return to jail until after she was sentenced in July.

Court records said Mitchener wrote $56,639.19 worth of checks from the Old National Trail Special Education Cooperative's account to a vendor called PC Technologies -- which turned out to be a dummy corporation she set up and opened a bank account for. Mitchener deposited the checks she wrote into the PC Technologies account and then moved the money into her personal account, which was at a different bank, using online banking services.

Mitchener was employed as treasurer at ONT.

In addition to the checks she wrote to herself, an audit done by the Indiana State Board of Accounts showed that ONT lost more than $52,000 in penalties and interest paid to the Internal Revenue Service and the Indiana Department of Revenue due to Mitchener's negligence.

The court will now review Perry's motion and the state's response.

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  • You have got to be kidding me! So, Bob Perry you think that if she is released tomorrow she will start paying back the thousands she owes? Judge, if you let her out, then you should be out!

    -- Posted by specialfriend on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 5:28 AM
  • Don't do it Matt!

    -- Posted by Geologist on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 6:17 AM
  • There is no way. She needs to do the time. Letting her out is an injustice. Judge Headley needs to deny her request, after all, this is the stuff people remember at the time of an election. Let her out and it will be political sucicide. If people keep getting off lightly with these crimes, they will keep happening. Look at the list: Wade, Mitchner, Fenwick and the lady that stoled from eye doctor. A slap on the wrist is not working!!!

    -- Posted by ladycubs on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 6:23 AM
  • I don't even believe this. Justice is finally being done in these cases and she could possibly be considered to get out.I am sure she is whining to get out and be with her family-wow she has the money to spend on an attorney to do this?Money that could have went on paying back what she stoled.

    -- Posted by peace2019 on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 7:54 AM
  • Perry's job is also to be aware of current Indiana precedent, which he clearly was not. Long understands what an attorney's job is. He is one. I doubt that you are, bondsman.

    -- Posted by LTSmash on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 8:57 AM
  • I'm not one of the Attorneys or the Judge so I'll leave the legal things to them. I do however have a question. Could the family start paying back the stolden money? Bottom line is they benefited from the stolden money.

    -- Posted by Trying hard on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 9:17 AM
  • bondsman - I agree with you. Perry is just doing his job.

    It would be an outrage if she got home detention though. She should definitely do the time. After all, being at home isn't so bad. How is that really teaching a lesson? She needs to do hard, unpleasant time. People need to fear the consequences of their actions. Then, maybe they'll think twice before committing the crime.

    Don't do it Matt!

    -- Posted by just a local on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 9:22 AM
  • bondsman, Long is doing His Job as Well! Now its Matthew's Turn to do His... Honor the Plea Agreement! Keep her where she is. Wade & the people who monitored her whereabouts didn't work, so why would Mitcherner's, maybe its a TAMMY thing?

    -- Posted by macvrod on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 10:44 AM
  • how does she think she wil lwork to pay back if she is on home detention?

    -- Posted by talkymom3 on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 11:53 AM
  • First off I dont think she should get out either....and stoled?? what does that mean? stole maybe???I feel for her family.

    -- Posted by ptnmctyrsdnt on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 1:34 PM
  • She should complete her sentence....period.

    -- Posted by Harmony Church on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 2:56 PM
  • That sounds all fine and dandy, but who is going to hire her?

    -- Posted by YNOTU2 on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 4:42 PM
  • I hope she is making all kinds of new friends!

    -- Posted by 1stamendrights on Fri, Nov 6, 2009, at 9:35 PM
  • Home Detention is still serving the sentence. Change of placement from DOC to home detention is still within the parameters of the plea agreement.

    It is not a modification, rather a change in where the sentence will be served. One institution as opposed to another--which is within the purview of the judge to determine. And based upon what I know of the case, she should get. She is not a danger to anyone and the purpose of all punishment is to be rehabilitation, not retribution pursuant to the Indiana Constitution.

    And "1stamendrights" please change your sign-on name. You have no idea what First Amendment, or for that matter, any Constitutional rights mean. You are just a mean-spirited person.

    -- Posted by reckman on Sat, Nov 7, 2009, at 7:30 PM
  • I have to disagree with reckman. The reason she is in prison is for punishment. If she gets rehabilitation that will depend solely on her morals and her character. Prison will not now or ever rehabilitate anyone unless they choose to have that happen. I think she needs to stay where she is purely for the punishment aspect of it. Being on home detention would be a walk in the park for her, not a punishment, which is what anyone that did the same type of crime should receive. She deserves the punishment of incarceration, which she knew in advance she would receive due to the plea agreement. If she is allowed to serve house arrest what is that teaching her about her own actions? That you can steal from your employer and then serve a mere 3 months in prison, but then you can go back home as if nothing ever happened? Headley, do not let her out, make her accountable for her actions. Just my opinion though.

    -- Posted by NotSoInnocent on Sat, Nov 7, 2009, at 8:30 PM
  • To "talkymom3", when one is on home detention, that doesn't mean they cannot work. It simply means if they leave, it must be made through their parole officer, from what I understand a week in advance. So, this gives a person the chance to work and pay some of the restitution.

    and "ladycubs" - seriously with "stoled"?!

    -- Posted by fBack In the Day on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 1:49 PM
  • Dear "NotSoInnocent."

    Constitution of the State of Indiana, Bill of Rights, Article 1, Section 18: " The penal code shall be founded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice."

    So you are not disagreeing with me, but the law of the state of Indiana.

    -- Posted by reckman on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 6:25 PM
  • If she gets home detention that means she is pretty much a free bird and will learn nothing from all this. She will be able to leave the house for work and have anyone and everyone over for cookouts, Christmas, get together for the football games and so on. To me that is not a punishment that's a get out of jail free card. She needs to serve the time!

    -- Posted by johndeeregreen on Sun, Nov 8, 2009, at 9:12 PM
  • I agree she does deserve some punishment. She made a huge mistake that wil be with her for the rest of her life and her family will suffer also. The bad part about this whole thing is where on your resume do you list "THIEF" She will get out and sit at home because noone will hire her. I know several who are now doing just that???????

    -- Posted by skittlebug on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 11:13 AM
  • i hear you heritagefriendlygirl, too much drama.... why cant everyone worry about themselves.

    -- Posted by topher_hanneman on Wed, Nov 11, 2009, at 12:38 PM
  • Dear "reckman",

    The penal code is based on reformation and not vindictive justice, that is why Judges have very little wiggle room when it comes to sentencing of offenders. That has nothing to do with where the sentence is served. And, I don't know about everyone else but I do not consider my home an "institution".

    Mitchener agreed to and signed a plea agreement, now she should have to abide by it.

    -- Posted by NotSoInnocent on Sat, Nov 14, 2009, at 12:28 AM
  • Dear "NotSoInnocent":

    Do not sell yourself short. I am sure your "home" is a real institution.

    You just do not get it. She would be abiding by the plea agreement. Just serving the sentence in a different place. Prison is vindictive justice with maximum suffering inflicted not only on the defendant, but her family. Home detention is geared toward reformation--that is why it is an option. Give the person a chance to work, learn, make amends.

    -- Posted by reckman on Sat, Nov 14, 2009, at 6:45 PM
  • Dear "NotSoInnocent":

    Putting a person in prison is vindictive justice working extreme hardship not only on the defendant but her family. Home detention is reformative, giving the person an opportunity to work, learn, make amends.

    She would be abiding by the plea agreement, just serving the sentence in an alternate place.

    And do not sell yourself short. I am sure your "home" is a real institution.

    -- Posted by reckman on Sat, Nov 14, 2009, at 6:50 PM
  • Hmm "prison sentence" or "Home detention". I don't see where the judge sentenced her to her home. I see where it says she was sentenced to prison. I also see that she stole from the children of Putnum county. To make it even worse it was the disabled children. I have no pity for someone who steals from a child. As for "could begin working and meeting her restitution responsibilities" what did she do about "meeting her restitution responsibilities" during the 7 months she was out on bail?

    A "MISTAKE" is something that happens once, intentional happens more then once.

    -- Posted by bradsdad on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 3:09 PM
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