Colvin sentenced to 8 years for being serious violent felon with a firearm

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Curtis Colvin, 40, Indianapolis was given an eight-year term with six years to be served while the prosecutor wanted a 12-year term for Colvin a serious violent felon and repeat offender.

HANCOCK COUNTY — Prosecutor Brent Eaton said that he is always pleased when his office is able to close a case following a jury’s guilty verdict. However, a recent sentencing hearing where the defendant will not be spending as much time in prison as Eaton believes he should has Eaton scratching his head.

Curtis Colvin, 40, Indianapolis, was given an eight-year prison term, several years shy of what the state asked for despite Colvin having three felony convictions. Eaton noted that one of Colvin’s convictions was for an unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, the exact same offense for which he was just found guilty.

Colvin, Eaton noted, will only have to serve six of the eight years and with good behavior could be out of prison even sooner, which he feels is not enough time for a repeat serious violent felon offender.

Colvin was sentenced recently in Hancock Circuit Court by Judge Scott Sirk, who issued the eight-year term after a county jury had found Colvin guilty of a Level 4 felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and a Level 5 count of possession of cocaine from an incident in the county in August 2023.

A sentence for a Level 4 felony has a range of two to 12 years for a term. Sirk sentenced Colvin to a total an eight-year total term, higher than the norm for a Level 4 felony with six of those eight years to be served at the Indiana Department of Corrections. Still, Eaton feels the sentence was not harsh enough due to Colvin’s criminal record.

“Mr. Colvin was given half (six years) of the executed up-front prison time when we had asked for (12 years) after he was convicted at jury trial,” Eaton said. “We certainly respect the court’s decision and right to sentence within the boundaries of the law, but the result is very concerning given his prior criminal history and status as a repeat serious violent felon.”

Eaton pointed out records from his office indicate an increase in these types of offenses in recent years and he’s concerned. He noted in 2021, there were only four such cases reported. However, as of mid-April there have been 18 cases reported in just over the last two years.

Eaton feels tougher sentences for criminals who are repeat offenders will curb such crimes, but if convicted felons continue to get lighter sentences, more and more of these types of crimes will continue to present themselves in Hancock County.

Deputy Prosecutor David Ostendorf worked the case for the state and noted, “an original executed sentence equal to the advisory sentence on the lead count is disappointing.”

Eaton said there is strong reasoning for asking for a tougher term.

“We had asked the court to sentence Mr. Colvin to 12 years at the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC), in part because this was his second conviction for being a serious violent felon with a firearm.” Eaton said, “Mr. Colvin has proven that he is a danger to society and does not obey the restrictions regarding possessing a firearm placed upon him due to his criminal convictions.”

Eaton went on to say, “serious violent felons with firearms are very dangerous people. These cases are a top priority for everyone in Hancock County Law Enforcement, and we dedicate significant resources to investigate and prosecute them effectively to ensure the safety of our citizens.”

Eaton said he’s most concerned the outcome is harmful to law enforcement morale and will make it more difficult to hold these dangerous criminals appropriately accountable in the future.