Trial date set for Land
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 Although that request has been withdrawn, Sallee will still be able to use Land's mental state at the time of the crime as a defense.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.