Clay Circuit Court Judge Joseph Trout denied the terms of a plea agreement between the Clay County Prosecutor's Office and public defender Geoffrey Creason on behalf of Michael Allen Sorrels, 28, Brazil, Monday.
According to information at the Clay County Courthouse, Trout rejected the plea agreements as stated because the penalties were not "sufficient sanctions for the alleged crime committed."
Sorrels faces charges in two separate cases.
Sorrels was allegedly involved in the unauthorized release of 16 dogs from the shelter May 11, 2010. Sorrels was arrested and formally charged with D felony charges of obstruction of justice, official misconduct, theft and two class A misdemeanor charges of false informing and deception for the incident.
On Aug. 20, 2010, Sorrels was also charged with a class D theft charge in a separate investigation into allegations of his involvement into the misappropriation of $300 in payroll funds, missing items at the shelter and accepting payment on at least one occasion to falsify paperwork for an unidentified person serving court-ordered community service through Clay Community Corrections at the shelter.
On Jan. 24, Sorrels waived his constitutional rights, presented a voluntary factual statement of his guilt and agreed to plead guilty to the first three charges in the first case, while the state agreed to drop the remaining misdemeanor charges in the matter.
In the second case, Sorrels agreed to plead guilty to the charge.
On Monday, Trout denied the agreements and tentatively scheduled a jury trial for June 21.
Sorrels' statements set forth in the previous hearing cannot be used against him now that the plea agreement has been denied. The information is inadmissible in court/trial proceedings.
According to Indiana Code 35-35-1-4(d): A plea of guilty, or guilty but mentally ill at the time of the crime, which is not accepted by the court or is withdrawn shall not be admissible as evidence in any criminal, civil or administrative proceeding. Statements made by a defendant at a guilty plea hearing, which established the factual basis for that plea, are no more admissible than the fact that the defendant pled guilty.
Sorrels remains out on bond while awaiting further court proceedings.