Kokomo man's rape sentence upheld by appellate court

Nov. 14—A Kokomo man's nearly 60-year sentence after being convicted on charges of rape and criminal confinement has been upheld.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana in September upheld the 58-year sentence given to Sean A. Landrum, 41, after he was convicted on two felony charges of rape, one felony count of domestic battery and one felony count of criminal confinement.

According to court documents, Landrum raped his then-girlfriend twice after the pair got into an argument that turned physically violent.

In early December 2021, Landrum and his girlfriend were living together and had previously been arguing. The woman and her son decided to spend the night at her father's house to give Landrum time to "cool off."

Landrum, though, according to court documents, began incessantly texting, calling and Facetiming the woman.

She relented and visited Landrum at their house on the evening of Dec. 6, 2021. The two got into an argument, and Landrum began hitting the woman in the face and the back of head, according to court documents. She then picked up a gun and fired a shot at Landrum. The bullet missed, and then Landrum began hitting the woman again before raping her twice.

Landrum was charged Dec. 8, 2021, and found guilty on all charges by a jury in early November 2022.

On Dec. 7, 2022, Howard County Circuit Court Judge Lynn Murray sentenced Landrum to 58 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, all executed. Specifically, on the two charges of rape, Landrum was sentenced to 16 years for each count, to be served consecutively, with an enhancement of 20 years due to Landrum's habitual offender status, and six years and one year on the criminal confinement and domestic chargers, respectively, to run consecutively to the rape counts.

At the sentencing hearing, Murray cited Landrum's lengthy criminal history, failed attempts at rehabilitation, the trauma the rape and battery has had and continues have on the victim and his lack of remorse as the reasoning behind her sentencing decision.

In his appeal, Landrum argued the trial court "abused its discretion" to order the sentences for criminal confinement and domestic battery be served consecutively to the two counts of rape and that the six years should be served concurrent the 52 years because all four counts happened in "one continuous string of events" and that the non-rape charges are considered "violent crimes" per state statute.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana, however, disagreed.

In an opinion written by Court of Appeals Judge Peter Foley, the appellate court ruled the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Landrum because Indiana's sentencing cap statute permits consecutive sentences between crimes of violence those that are not. Both Judge Robert Altice Jr. and Judge Melissa May concurred.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.