Larry J. Sharps was scheduled to stand trial June 9 on four felony charges in connection with his alleged involvement in an abduction and rape case originating in 2007.
Sharps signed a negotiated agreement between the Clay County Prosecutor's Office and his Defense Attorney Geoffrey Creason on Tuesday. The Vigo County Prosecutor's Office, which was making arrangements for their charges against Sharp to be filed in conjunction with this plea agreement, were also involved in the negotiations.
On Friday, Sharps told Judge Blaine Akers that although the signature on the document was his, he was unsure about signing it because he was "uninformed" about some of the evidentiary details of the agreement.
"I've not had an opportunity to see it all and I signed it without proper knowledge," Sharps said. "I've not seen my attorney. I don't believe he is incompetent, just overworked."
After requesting new counsel, which was denied, Sharps then went on to request a psychiatric evaluation or some type of counseling to determine if he was "correctly diagnosed with bi-polar" or if his "emotional problems stem from prior Methamphetamine use."
Akers told Sharps that counseling could be part of a sentencing recommendation, which would be reviewed by the Indiana Department of Correction to determine the best way for Sharps to receive the proper treatment.
Sharps then wanted to file a motion for a change of venue for the upcoming trial.
Because of Sharps' numerous requests, Akers denied the negotiated plea agreement.
"I will not force you to do this," Akers said. "But this matter will be expedited Mr. Sharps. I won't let this sit on the back burner because it is in the best interest for all of the individuals involved that this matter be resolved quickly."
With the anticipation that Sharps would admit to some or all of the counts in the plea agreement and sentenced accordingly, Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kim Jackson, who were both in the courtroom, were obviously stunned. Officially withdrawing the potential for future plea agreements, Reberger said, "The State will proceed in this matter and charge Mr. Sharps with all five charges in this case."
Due to the pending trial, both Reberger and Jackson will be unable to make further comment on the case. Plea agreement details were sealed to protect the integrity of the potential upcoming jury pool and will not be made public due to the jury trial, which will be set after reviewing court schedules.
On Oct. 18, 2007, Sharps allegedly abducted a woman from her Terre Haute residence while threatening her with a knife and then drove her to Brazil, where she was sexually assaulted at a residence on North Sherman Street.
Released from prison in February 2007, Sharps was on parole and registered as a lifetime "sex predator" for a previous conviction for criminal deviate conduct on the Indiana Sheriff's Association Sex and Violent Offender Registry.
Sharps is facing a class A felony charge of criminal deviate conduct, a class B felony rape charge, a class C felony charge of criminal confinement and one class C felony of sexual battery. Due to his extensive previous criminal history Sharps was also charged as being a habitual offender.
According to officials, Sharps remains incarcerated at the Clay County Justice Center on $250,000 cash bond.