3 Murder Convictions Upheld In Appeals

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld murder convictions of three of the so-called “Elkhart 4” in a case in which an accomplice was shot dead by a homeowner during a break-in. Blake Layman, Anthony Sharp and Levi Sparks had asked the appeals court to throw out their murder convictions or reduce their sentences of 50 or more years in prison. Layman was 17, Sharp was 19 and Sparks was 18 when they were sentenced last year in the death of a 21-year-old accomplice who was fatally wounded by a homeowner. Layman and Sparks were tried and convicted together in Elkhart County in August 2013 and jointly appealed their convictions. Sharp appealed his conviction and sentence separately. In separate rulings, the court upheld their convictions but reduced their sentences.