The Indiana Court of Appeals upholds the sentence imposed during a hearing in the case of North Judson resident Matthew Schutz.
Following a four-day trial in August in Starke Circuit Court, a jury found Schutz guilty of murder. The jurors decided enough evidence was presented to find that Schutz stabbed Bradley White in the chest with a knife after an argument at a North Judson home on Jan. 17, 2017. White later died as a result of injuries sustained in that incident.
In October of 2018, Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall sentenced Schutz to 65 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections, which is the maximum allowable sentence on a murder charge in the State of Indiana. The sentence was also more than what the State and defense recommended as an advisory sentence at the time.
Schutz appealed the sentence raising the issues of whether the State presented sufficient evidence to rebut Schutz’s claim of self-defense, and whether the sentence is inappropriate.
In a decision released by the Indiana Court of Appeals, the document states that the State did in fact provide sufficient evidence to rebut Schutz’s claim of self-defense.
Further, the document states that Schutz claimed his sentence is inappropriate “because his crime is not among the worst of offenses.” The appellate court disagreed saying that Schutz threatened the lives of all inside the home that night which portrayed his disregard of human life. Additionally, the decision states that his crime “was not accompanied by restraint and lack of brutality” and Schutz’s lack of responsibility to seek treatment for mental illness shows lack of a “virtuous character”. The appellate court found the maximum sentence of 65 years to be appropriate.