The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the sentence handed down in the Starke Circuit Court to Dale Hite, who had been sentenced to 30 years in the Department of Corrections for causing a fatal car accident in 2009 that took the lives of Amber McMillin and Nicholas White.
Hite appealed two convictions for Resisting Law Enforcement as Class B felonies, claiming that the state did not provide sufficient evidence to support his convictions, and that his sentence was inappropriate given the nature of the offenses and his character.
However, the court found that the state presented sufficient evidence showing that Hite was the driver of the Mustang that crashed into a tree while traveling, at times, more than 100 mph while fleeing police. The state provided DNA evidence, crash reconstruction testimony, and the testimony of a witness who stated he had seen Hite driving the Mustang less than a half-hour before the crash.
Hite also claimed that his 30-year sentence was inappropriate, but the trial court noted that aggravating factors in the case against Hite included a history of criminal or delinquent behavior, a recent violation of the terms of probation, traveling high speeds with his lights off as he tried to elude police, he was in a position of having control over the victims of the offense, and a history of illegal drugs. The court found no mitigating factors, and concluded that the aggravating factors far outweigh any mitigating factors.
Even so, however, the court did not impose the maximum sentence for either of the felonies, and the court concluded that his argument is without merit. The court upheld his sentence, denying his appeal.