We are the family of Blake Layman. In 2012, we started a petition asking Prosecutor Curtis Hill and Attorney General Greg Zoeller to drop the charges of felony murder against Blake Layman and four teenagers. The charges were brought in the state of Indiana. In October of last year, the boys broke into a home they believed was unoccupied. The home was not empty and the owner armed himself with a gun and shot two people as they attempted to exit. One person died as a result of his injury and the other, Blake, received a wound to the leg.
As a result of the death, the prosecutor charged the surviving teenagers with felony murder which carries the same sentence as first degree murder. The problem is that even though these boys made a terrible error in judgement by breaking into a home, none of them committed the act of murder. These boys should have been charged for the crime they committed and not for the murder of a person they knew and cared about because they were not the ones that shot him.
One of the teens entered in a plea and received 45 years in prison. The remaining teens went to trial and were convicted. The judge sentenced two of the boys to 55 years in prison and one to 50 years. We acknowledge that when a teenage commits a crime he or she should face the consequences of their actions; however, those consequences must be appropriate for the situation. That is not what happened here.
This is NOT justice.
Many people do not know about the felony murder rule. Convictions of felony murder are not uncommon. If a person dies in the state of Indiana, during the commission of a felony, those involved may be charged with felony murder. Even if they did not cause the death. This is an outdated and unjust law that other countries have completely abolished. It is time for the state of Indiana to abolish this law. At least three other states have already done this.
Please join us in speaking out against this archaic and dangerous law. Please also share this petition with friends and family. We thank you for taking the time to lend your voice to our cause.
For more information about this case please click here for the petition we ran previously.
An article discussing the crime and the life of one of the teens involved is here.
You may also read more about what has happened and join the community of people that agree these boys did not receive a fair punishment by clicking here.