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Plea agreement reached in case

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Matthew Aubrey
A Fillmore man involved in a 2009 domestic dispute that led to a shooting/hostage incident near Center Point was sentenced in Clay Superior Court Wednesday.

Matthew A. Aubrey, 28, along with his defense attorney Matthew Effner, appeared before Clay Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kim Jackson to enter into a new negotiated plea agreement.

Originally charged with five felonies for his alleged involvement in the September 2009, incident, Aubrey agreed to plead guilty, but mentally ill, to two class B felonies, including Criminal Confinement and Aggravated Battery.

The state agreed to drop the three remaining charges, including two class A felonies of Attempted Murder and Burglary Resulting in Bodily Injury and one class C felony charge of Criminal Recklessness.

According to the case file information at the Clay County Courthouse, Aubrey got into an altercation with Frank L. Ford, 34, Terre Haute, on Sept. 10, 2009, after entering his estranged wife Jayme Aubrey's Center Point home illegally.

During the altercation, Aubrey allegedly shot Ford multiple times with a .22-caliber rifle and then barricaded himself in the home, taking his wife hostage for nearly two hours before letting her go without injury.

Approximately two hours later, Aubrey voluntarily surrendered to authorities.

In October 2010, Akers refused to accept a negotiated plea agreement that was similar, but not as harsh in penalty. The terms for that plea agreement included a sentence recommendation of 15 years incarceration at the Indiana Department of Correction, all of which is to be executed with the exception of five years to run concurrent for each charge. Upon release from the IDOC, Aubrey would have been placed on probation for a total of five years, the first half to be formal, while the second half could be served informally.

During Wednesday's court proceedings, Akers accepted the harsher terms of the new plea agreement.

Allowing credit for the actual 490 days he previously served at the Clay County Justice Center, Aubrey was sentenced to a period of 10 years imprisonment at the IDOC on each count (making a total of 20 years), with all but five years suspended on each count. This means that Aubrey will actually serve a total of 10 years in prison for both charges.

Upon release from IDOC, Aubrey will be placed on formal probation for 10 years. He was also ordered to obey all laws and other terms of probation, including pay all court fines/fees, reimburse the public defender fees, make yet-to-be determined restitution to the victims, undergo anger management/psychological counseling, not possess alcohol, weapons or ammunition, have no contact with the victims or the victims' families and be subject to random screens for controlled substances, illegal drugs and marijuana.

Aubrey was also informed that any violation of the terms of his probation could result in his being ordered to serve all or part of the suspended portion of the original sentence.

Before being remanded into the custody of the CCJC, Aubrey asked if the court could speed up IDOC processing so he could be transported to a prison facility that could potentially provide medical treatment and educational programs. He was informed local authorities have no influence with how or where IDOC houses a new inmate, but the court would make a recommendation on his behalf.

According to officials at the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, both victims in the case were previously informed of the terms of the negotiated plea agreement.

"(We believe) this resolution was acceptable to the victims," Jackson told The Brazil Times Thursday. "If not, we wouldn't have done it."

Officials confirmed Aubrey remains incarcerated at the CCJC while waiting IDOC processing.

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So, if he is to have no contact with the victims or the victims' families, does that mean during his incarceration or only once probation starts?

-- Posted by StephanieMroczek on Fri, Jan 14, 2011, at 11:24 AM

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