Elkhart Four: Levi Sparks, Blake Layman, Anthony Sharp likely to be released from prison in next year after new sentencing

Three of the Elkhart Four could be out of prison within at least the next year after they received new sentences on Thursday morning, Jan. 7.

Blake Layman, Levi Sparks and Anthony Sharp appeared in Elkhart Circuit Court to be sentenced for burglary after the Indiana Supreme Court threw out their felony murder convictions.

Layman and Sharp were sentenced to 10 years in prison each. Layman could be released as soon as this year because of credit for time served, good behavior and a GED program, according to our reporting partners ABC 57.

Sharp is also expected to be released early because of time served, but it wasn’t immediately clear how soon because he has not completed his GED or other programs that allow for early release.

Sparks was sentenced to nine years in prison — one less than Layman because Judge Terry Shewmaker said Sparks only served as a lookout and didn’t go inside the home during the October 2012 burglary.

He could be released from prison within a week, and will definitely be out within three months, according to his lawyer, Vincent Campiti.

The new sentencing comes after the Indiana Supreme Court overturned their felony murder convictions in September and ordered that they be charged with burglary as a Class B felony.

They were charged in connection to an October 2012 burglary in which a co-conspirator, 21-year-old Denzele Johnson, was shot and killed. After a jury found them guilty in August 2013, Sparks was sentenced to 50 years in prison, while Layman and Sharp were sentenced to 55 years.

They appealed those convictions and ultimately their case was taken up by the Indiana Supreme Court.

A fourth defendant, Jose Quiroz, pleaded guilty to felony murder and was sentenced to 45 years in prison and 10 years on probation. Because he pleaded guilty, his sentence wasn’t affected by the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling.


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