News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

September 18, 2012

Former Gibault resident pleads guilty

Teen faces 35-year sentence for crimes

TERRE HAUTE — A Gary teenager arrested after an October 2011 carjacking and police chase has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and faces up to 35 years in prison.

Andre Moton, 18, appeared in Vigo Superior Court 6 on Monday morning where he pleaded guilty to robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a class-A felony, and attempted carjacking, a class-B felony.

Judge John Roach set a Nov. 2 sentencing date to hear the arguments of the prosecution and defense teams, with the plea agreement capping the sentence at 35 years.

A class-A felony has a sentencing range of 20 to 50 years in prison, with a presumptive sentence of 30 years, while a class-B felony has a sentencing range of 6 to 20 years, with a presumptive sentence of 10 years.

On the night of Oct. 24, 2011, Moton and two other juveniles — Jordan Sneed and Therlow Pope IV — left Gibault Children’s Services, on U.S. 41 south of Terre Haute, and embarked on a crime spree that ran from Walmart South to White Castle and ended with the crash of a stolen pickup truck on Third Street (U.S. 41) near College Avenue about 11:14 p.m.

Police allege that Moton was the driver of the truck, while Sneed and Pope were passengers. Because of injuries suffered in the crash, Pope was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he later died. Sneed was also hospitalized due to his injuries. Moton was apprehended a short time after running from the crash scene.

The crime spree resulted in numerous public complaints about, and scrutiny of, the security measures at Gibault.

According to the original charging information, Moton faced eight original criminal counts, including felony murder due to the death of Pope. Other charges included carjacking, resisting law enforcement, escape and battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

In the plea agreement, Moton admits to class-A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury for taking a cell phone and wallet from an alleged victim using force that resulted in a cut, a broken hip and a broken pelvis to the victim. That incident occurred at the White Castle on U.S. 41 after the alleged victim, a 46-year-old man from Dugger, exited the restaurant with his food order. That man was allegedly grabbed from behind and battered, and his 1994 Chevrolet S-10 pickup was taken.

Moton also pleaded guilty to attempted carjacking, a class-B felony, after admitting that he tried to take a vehicle from another person, a 29-year-old Terre Haute man, by striking the alleged victim, entering the vehicle and trying to remove the victim from the vehicle. That incident occurred at the Walmart on U.S. 41.

The criminal case remains pending against Sneed, who was charged with felony murder, robbery resulting serious bodily injury, carjacking, attempted carjacking, escape and battery resulting in serious bodily injury. Sneed’s next court date is Sept. 26.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.

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