On Nov. 6, a jury convicted Tommy L. Borders, 47, of four charges stemming from a joint investigation by the Brazil Police Department and Clay County Sheriff's Department into a traffic stop on Jan. 5, 2009.
The charges include a (count 1) class A felony possession of methamphetamine, (count 2) class C felony possession of methamphetamine, (count 3) class D felony maintaining a common nuisance and (count 4) a class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia stemming.
The jury also returned a not guilty verdict on the class A misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana stemming from the same incident.
Due to Borders lengthy criminal history, the continuity of the crimes and the likelihood he could re-offend in the future, the Clay County Prosecutor's Office filed an enhancement charge of Habitual Substance Offender.
Borders waived right to a jury trial at the same court proceedings. After evidence was provided in the matter, Clay Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers found him guilty during a bench trial.
During Friday's court proceedings, Akers allowed Prosecutor Lee Reberger and Defense Attorney Laura Paul to present and support their arguments with evidence.
Paul submitted a letter written by Borders asking for leniency and requesting help from the court for his "addiction problems," while Reberger reminded the court of Borders' lengthy criminal record.
While the prosecution and defense were unable to agree on a recommendation to the court about the length of Border's sentence, they did agree the sentences for the lesser charges in the case should run concurrent (all together) with the A felony conviction.
Accepting the state's sentencing recommendation, Akers entered a judgment of conviction and sentenced Borders to serve 40 years on count 1, eight years for count 2, three years for count 3 and one year on count 4 at the Indiana Department of Correction.
Akers also sentenced Borders to an additional five years imprisonment (after serving the initial 40 years) for the Habitual Substance Offender enhancement, bringing the total sentence to 45 years.
Borders was given credit for 369 days previously served and is entitled to future good time credit, if earned.
Two other outstanding/unrelated cases were also resolved during the court proceedings before Borders was remanded into the custody of the Clay County Sheriff's Department. Borders will remain in custody until the DOC processes his paperwork.
Reberger talked to The Brazil Times about the outcome of the case, and gave much of the credit to the case investigators.
"I'm really pleased with the way this matter came to a resolution. The sentence in this case is both appropriate and reasonable," Reberger said. "I appreciate the long hours put in by law enforcement officers that helped this case come to a successful prosecution."