Supreme Court Upholds 110-Year Sentence for Ernest Wireman

Ernest Wireman

The Indiana Supreme Court this week denied a petition to transfer jurisdiction in the case of Ernest Wireman, a man found guilty in March of murdering his wife and attempting to kill his stepson.

Wireman was found guilty but mentally ill after the June 2009 murder, but he had filed an appeal claiming that the state’s psychiatrist, Dr. Gregory Hale, should not have been allowed to render his opinion of Wireman’s mental state, alleging Hale lacked knowledge of Indiana’s standard for determining sanity. Further, he claimed the jury’s verdict of guilty but mentally ill was not supported by sufficient evidence.

Despite that, the Appeals Court ruled that Wireman’s mental illness did play a part in his decision to murder his wife and stepson, but the evidence substantiated that Wireman knew fully well that what he was doing was legally wrong. Consequently, the court upheld his 110-year sentence. He was convicted of Murder, Attempted Murder, and Arson.