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March 16, 2013

Teen receives 30 years tied to 2011 crime spree

TERRE HAUTE — A Gary teen received a 30-year prison sentence for his involvement in an October 2011 carjacking and police chase that resulted in the death of another runaway from Gibault, Inc.

Andre Moton, 19, indicated that he will appeal the sentence set by Judge Michael Lewis in Vigo Superior Court 6 on Friday morning.

Moton had pleaded guilty in September to robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a class-A felony, and attempted carjacking, a class-B felony, in a plea agreement that capped the sentence at 35 years.

On Friday, Lewis sentenced Moton to 30 years in the Indiana Department of Correction for the class-A felony, and to 10 years in prison for the class-B felony, to be served concurrently. Lewis also recommended mental health counseling for Moton while he is in prison.

The plea agreement dismissed a charge of murder as well as counts of carjacking, resisting law enforcement, escape and battery resulting in bodily injury.

Moton is to receive credit for the 537 days he has spent in the Vigo County Jail since Oct. 24, 2011. On that date, Moton and two other juveniles — Jordan Sneed and Therlow Pope IV — left Gibault, Inc., located 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 around 11:14 p.m.

Police reported that Moton was the driver of the stolen truck, while Sneed and Pope were passengers. Because of his injuries, 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 trio attempted to steal a vehicle from a person at Walmart, but that person was able to escape in his vehicle. The trio later attacked a physically disabled person as he exited the White Castle, and took that man’s truck.

That second victim, who must now use a walker and is facing continuing physical therapy, was in the courtroom Friday.

Following the sentencing hearing, the victim said he appreciated the apologies from Moton’s family members, but has not heard an apology from Moton himself, and still has several thousand dollars in medical bills to pay as a result of the attack.

Three of Moton’s family members testified on behalf of the teen, asking Judge Lewis for a lenient sentence due to some earlier childhood trauma that Moton experienced.

Lewis gave Moton the same sentence length that fellow runaway Jordan Sneed received late last year for his participation in the crime spree.

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

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