As a young man, Chris served 4 years in the United States Armed Services only to return home and catch a case for petty theft. Chris was placed in the Indiana Reformatory to do his time. Chris was three months away from being released and was planning for his future. On February 1, 1985 during a shakedown, Chris and others witnessed another inmate being sprayed with mace, beaten with a bat while he is shackled. Inmates were yelling “they are going to kill him” chaos erupting in the prison cell that led to a riot. Although no lives were taken, no plans for a riot prepared, it was not premeditated. These young men were there and witnessed the inmate’s brutal beating first hand and felt for the inmate’s life as well as their own lives and fought back. His involvement in a 1985 prison riot turned his 4-year prison sentence into a 142-year sentence.
A LETTER FROM CHRISTOPHER TROTTER:
I have a petition for post-conviction relief that has been dormant since 1992. The state public defender withdrew from my case in 1998. Then in 2002, all my legal documents (14 year old transcripts, dispositions, witness statements, etc.) mysteriously came up missing. There has been no activity on my post-conviction petition since 1998. The state of Indiana will not provide me with another copy of my trial transcripts without charge, and I do not have the financial means to hire an attorney so, in a nutshell, unless I hit the lottery or some compassionate soul takes up my cause for justice and freedom, then I'll die inside this belly of the beast which will give the prison officials a reason to celebrate. My direct appeal was denied in 1990 (Christopher Trotter v. State of Indiana, 559 N.E.2d 585: 1990). The trial was a political lynching, and the sentence of 142 years is outrageous, especially when no one was killed in the riot. I came to prison in 1983 to serve a four 4 year term for petty theft, and I received an additional sentence of 142 years all because I did what I felt in my heart of hearts was morally the right thing to do and that was come to the defense of a fellow human being who could not defend himself against the savage beating by prison guards while handcuffed and shackled. It’s been 27 years since the riot of Feb 1, 1985, and I've more than taken responsibility for my participation in the incident. How can they justify keeping me locked away all this time when every day they are setting free child molesters, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, etc.?
I'm strong but human