A sentencing hearing in the case of Randall Rowe has been continued in Starke Circuit Court pending the research of case law brought up during Tuesday’s court hearing.
Randall Rowe, 36 of Hamlet, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement with the state in a previous hearing to charges of Robbery as a Class B felony, Battery as a Class C felony and Receiving Stolen Property as a Class D felony. Ten other charges would be dismissed. He was to be sentenced Tuesday but it has been continued.
Randall Rowe was arrested Dec. 30, 2011, along with his brother, after they allegedly entered the home of Wade Berg in Hamlet where Berg was beaten on the head with a handgun. Berg’s hand was also allegedly beaten to the extent that the tip of his finger became detached. The pair also allegedly stole various items from Berg’s home. After the battery, Rowe reportedly forced Berg to drive to 1st Source Bank and withdraw approximately $800 in order to bail out Berg’s sister, who was Rowe’s girlfriend, from jail. Berg claims all of that was done at gunpoint which Rowe disputes.
At the time of his arrest, Rowe was arrested on 13 counts including an enhancement charge of Habitual Offender.
Wade Berg made a statement to Judge Kim Hall Tuesday about the circumstances of the incident and told of the fear that he would experience when Rowe gets out of prison. Berg stated that Rowe has threatened his family and is afraid of their safety as well as his own.
Rowe’s mother also stated that a hardship would be put on her as she has to care for Rowe’s daughter and doesn’t have the financial means to do so. Rowe stated that he is sorry for what happened that night and that Berg is confused on some things that happened during the incident.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff asked that Judge Kim Hall sentence Rowe to 20 years on the charge of Robbery, eight years on the charge of Battery and three years on the charge of Receiving Stolen Property with no time suspended. Those sentences would be served consecutively for a total of 31 years in the Department of Corrections. Defense Attorney Timothy Lemon cited many case laws that support the fact that each charge to what Rowe is pleading guilty are a single episode of conduct which call for concurrent sentences and not consecutive sentences.
With that information, Judge Hall ruled to continue the hearing so he and the state can review those case laws. If Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff has any case laws to give to the judge then those would be taken under consideration as well.
The sentencing hearing as been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 23 at 11:30 a.m. CT in Starke Circuit Court.