Trial date set for Land

Friday, May 28, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- A trial date has been set for a Greencastle man charged with battering his mother over a year ago.

Seth Land, 22, faces two counts of Class B felony aggravated battery, each punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Land was arrested on May 15, 2009, after he allegedly attacked his mother, Sharon Land, and her home.

Judge Matthew Headley set Land's trial date for Oct. 13. Any plea agreements must be set before Land's pretrial conference, which was set for Sept. 23.

Public Defender James Recker initially represented Land. Recker left the public defender's office in January, and was replaced in Land's case by Public Defender Todd Sallee. Land, who was disheveled, uncommunicative and refused to speak at his May 18, 2009 initial hearing, did not request pauper counsel, but Judge Matthew Headley appointed a lawyer for him anyway.

A clean-shaven, alert and coherent Land appeared in court Thursday, responding "Yes, sir" and "No, sir" to all of Headley's questions.

Court officers removed Sharon Land from the courtroom on Thursday before proceedings began. She held a Bible aloft as the judge and prosecutor entered the courtroom, and was loudly advising her son to fire Sallee.

Once in the hallway outside the courtroom, Sharon Land continued to loudly protest her removal.

Land filed a pro se motion on April 23 for release from custody and dismissal of all charges. In his motion, Land requested that if there were some reason the dismissal should not be granted that his trial would commence no more than 70 days from the date of his motion.

In his motion Land cited Criminal Rule 4 of the Indiana Code, which covers reasons a defendant's trial can be delayed.

The state objected on May 3 to Land's motion, and it was denied by the court on May 10.

In court Thursday, Land withdrew his C.R. 4 motion, as well as a request for a hearing to have him declared competent to stand trial. Although that request has been withdrawn, Sallee will still be able to use Land's mental state at the time of the crime as a defense.

Sallee did enter an objection to the October trial date set by Headley.

"(Land) is more than willing to wait, but I do need to note an objection because the date falls outside of Rule 4," Sallee said.

According to court documents, Land allegedly beat his mother, Sharon Land, so badly that she was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where she underwent surgery. Land lost an eye in the alleged attack, and suffered additional injuries including a severely bruised and torn right eye socket, a swollen left eye, split lips and broken teeth.

Seth Land admitted to officers at the scene that he and his mother had gotten into a fight.

Per the request of Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter, Land's bond was set at $100,000 cash only.

While he was in Putnam County Jail, Land was segregated from other inmates. Because of his past erratic behavior and the amount of care he required, Headley accommodated a request by Bookwalter to have Land sent to an Indiana Department of Correction facility to await his next court date.

He has been housed at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

On Wednesday, Sharon Land, identifying herself as a victim in the case against her son, filed a motion to compel disclosure of public record. In the motion, she requested "a copy of all public records including but not limited to photographs, electronic and taped information regarding the victim's injuries and testimony."

In the motion, Sharon land alleged she was denied access by the prosecutor's office to a portion of the evidence she requested to see.

Headley gave Bookwalter 30 days to prepare a response to the motion.

Land also has a battery charge pending against him in Wayne County. He is set for a final pretrial conference on July 8 and a trial on Aug. 10 there.

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  • How is he (the kid) expected to act with some sense when the Mom is not. Sounds as if the apple did not fall far from the tree. Shut up Mom and let your son be held accountable.

    -- Posted by dcsaiht on Fri, May 28, 2010, at 12:33 PM
  • Mean dogs that attack people get euthanized. What's the difference here?

    -- Posted by JustinH on Fri, May 28, 2010, at 12:58 PM
  • Your Words mean nothing. Why don't we let the truth be heard? Or is that the best that can be done is for all to tell me to shutup? I will not!

    This is my child, the truth is what justice is based on, and no lie can ever be made into the

    truth. So instead of me shutting up, lets have more people ask in our community and richmond - what is the truth? Only the Lord has authority here. Have a great life. As no matter what happens - all are going to know the truth.

    -- Posted by HisMother on Sun, May 30, 2010, at 6:40 AM
  • You see there are more lives being destroyed as a result of the evil life lessons that were intended for my son. At 16 he was suppose to step up and be accountable (as put in the previous comment) for the drugs that were found on Brock Sage. My son was the one that was suppose to step up and be accountable for that because it was intended for him. It did not happen the way the evil-doers planned it. So Brock got kicked out of baseball and everything else that was important in his life at that time. Now you see what that has done for him. No one can sit in any office or closet and plan what the outcome of one life is going to be when the Lord Jesus Christ One and Only, knows full well what is intended for our lives. But of course the reports of the ones accountable, or should be, are withheld as well.

    So send as many as you want to tell me to shutup,

    and look up and ask the Lord why I am still in existence at all? And tell Him to shutup as that is not what He has instructed me to do. This is not about Seth being my son. I would stand for any child that has been wronged in order that the truth be known. As they are our future and it is our responsibility to protect them. And for that, let us be accountable.

    -- Posted by HisMother on Sun, May 30, 2010, at 7:26 AM
  • Recker did not leave the Public Defender's Office--it left him. As reported in this newspaper, the Public Defender's Office was closed as a cost-saving measure by the County

    Council. There is no Putnam County Public Defender's Office. Attorneys are privately contracted. And it looks as though one case fell through the cracks. Mr. Land may well be discharged from this case for failure of the state to bring him to trial within one year. That would be Mr.

    Bookwalter's fault if he is--and the Council's if he does not.

    -- Posted by forensic on Sun, May 30, 2010, at 2:50 PM
  • To dcsaiht:

    I don't know these people, but after reading other posts...I agree with your comments about the apple and the tree!!!!


    -- Posted by ExHoosier on Mon, May 31, 2010, at 12:14 AM
  • Well dcsaiht should know. As they are either the other half of the tree or work very close to it. And ExHoosier, you are right - you do not know these people. So why comment about something or someone you know nothing about?

    -- Posted by HisMother on Mon, May 31, 2010, at 7:03 AM
  • Like I said, the Lord has his hand on my children and all the innocent children of the world that are not put here for our own personal purposes and evil doing. I would stand for any child that is in need due to the evil motives and wrong doings of another.

    -- Posted by HisMother on Mon, May 31, 2010, at 7:09 AM
  • Here's to you HISMOTHER: First off lets get your facts straight, last time I checked this article was about your son, not my brother. But since you made it about my brother, then we will talk about that subject. The drugs that were found in your sons car with both of the boys, were not in the possession of my brother, they were in Seth's trunk, yes in Brock's bag but not on him. Who's to say that they were Brock's, Seth's or the next door neighbors. In regards to your comment about what my brothers life experiences have done for him, should be the least of your worries and not the topic of your conversation or any of your business. Just because a person makes mistakes and has been labeled, doesn't mean that they are a bad person,maybe that area in life is a struggle, who are you to judge? So, if you would like, ill post my phone number or even give you my address(you could stop by for some tea) and we can get together and talk about this like adults.

    -- Posted by Bsage on Tue, Jun 1, 2010, at 1:41 AM
  • You misunderstood my post and I stand for Brock as well. Tea sounds great!

    -- Posted by HisMother on Tue, Jun 1, 2010, at 9:52 AM
  • To His Mother, I agree seems like system is holding children back these days instead of encouraging them in their lives, they want to ruin their lives instead of getting them help they need and what protection do they have against the corrupt system. Some people need to look beyond the end of their nose and open their minds there are other possiblities in this world besides the ones YOU think are right!

    -- Posted by hubl on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 4:38 PM
  • Well the corruption is quite a problem. But as long as it is someone else's child, it is easier to turn the cheek, eyes, and ears the other way. And in answer to your question, there is no protection for them(the children)here until others start speaking up and only with truth and only in the light. I have no problem showing my face, speaking the truth, and doing whatever is necessary in order to protect my children, not from reaping consequences from wrong behavior, but from hopefully protecting some other child in the future from being persecuted for either an adults wrongful behavior they are trying to cover up, or for some plan that they have for the child that the child or the mother is not aware of until it is too late and the damage is already done. You can see what child abusers and molesters get sentenced to? Near to nothing. Which tells me that a slap on the wrist is good enough for them. That to me is in itself enough to tell me that the officials in charge condone that behavior and then free them to do it again. My son is facing 90 years for being inflicted with an illness that in Richmond at college he was not diagnosed with yet, not drug or alcohol induced, and here was denied for 5 months of being put back on his medicaid in order that he could receive the medications he needed in order to treat his illness. He did not just quit taking his medication because he did not think he needed it. This illness is controllable with medication and nedication management and monitoring to ensure that it is the right combination. However I am not sure that being prosecuted for a medical condition you were not diagnosed with thus not knowing you needed meds, or in which you could not receive the medications you needed because of a systematic error, is the solution for my son or any other child for that matter. Where is the fix for the break in the system? When people go in and out of facilities and are deemed disabled by Social Security and FSSA, I believe that suspension of their benefits while facilitated and then automatic reinstatement being initiated prior to release from a facilty and integrated back into the community, so that the benefits would be in place on the projected release date, would be much more effective then releasing and then making these individuals wait thus eliminating the break in the health care system for those that are inflicted with mental illnesses or disorders. Definitely a break in the health care system that needs looked at. It may free our prisons and jails of people that are ill

    needing meds or health care and are willing to take the medications that can make their illnesses or disorders manageable.

    -- Posted by HisMother on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 9:37 AM
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