"I think we're gonna get this overturned because you denied my right to represent myself," Hampton told Judge David R. Bolk on July 16, 2007, during a sentencing hearing in Vigo County Superior Court Division 3 before requesting his right to appeal. "I'll see you in court again."
Hampton was convicted of strangling both Dickison, 18, and Harris, 48, before separately dumping their bodies at different locations. Dickison's body was found in a private pond on the south side of County Road 600 North Nov. 30, 2004, while Harris' partially decomposed body was discovered on Feb. 10, 2005, near a Vigo County creek.
Bolk sentenced Hampton to 65 years imprisonment for each charge, which would begin upon completion of serving 40 years for an unrelated dealing cocaine conviction then an 85-year sentence for a separate murder conviction of Dianna Lehman in 2000.
True to his word, a notice to appeal the case and transfer the jurisdiction to the Indiana Supreme Court was filed on Hampton's behalf with the state court of appeals Aug. 8, 2007.
Two main issues were addressed on Hampton's behalf. First, he was not allowed to present his own defense during the trial, and, secondly, the prosecution was allowed to have two lead investigators, Terre Haute Police Detective Starla Neidigh and Indiana State Police Det. Tony Quinn, who were also witnesses in the trial, "sat in" the courtroom during the entire court proceedings.
As a way to protect the integrity of the legal proceedings during Hampton's court trial, Bolk did extensive research into both issues before scheduling hearings that allowed both the prosecution and the defense to argue their points before a final decision was made.
Bolk ruled against Hampton's motions in both cases. Bolk ruled that Hampton had adequate counsel from services provided by Defense Attorney Daniel Weber and was able to assist in his attorney in his own legal defense.
Although the prosecution is normally allowed to have one person "sit in," Bolk ruled that because Hampton's case involved two murders in separate counties, which fell under several legal jurisdictions, Neidigh and Quinn would be able to assist in the "unique and complex" case.
After a case review by the court justices, on May 22, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard announced the unanimous decision by the court to deny the motion to transfer jurisdiction.
This denial upholds Hampton's conviction.