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[APPEALS]Appellant to challenge sentence at Union County oral argument
Start Date: 1/10/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/10/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

“Appeals on Wheels” makes first stop in Union County for oral argument
Appellant challenges 20-year sentence for felony neglect of dependent


INDIANAPOLIS – The Court of Appeals of Indiana will hear oral argument in Kovats v. State at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at Union County High School before an expected audience of about 200 students, judges and lawyers.

A panel of Judges John G. Baker, L. Mark Bailey and Paul D. Mathias will hear the case on appeal from Dearborn Superior Court. The court is conducting the oral argument by invitation of Union Circuit Court Judge Matthew R. Cox and school Principal Connie Rosenberger. This will be the court’s first visit to Union County for oral argument.

Reporters may ask the court’s permission to video or photograph the oral argument by faxing the Court Administrator (317-233-4627) at least 48 hours before the argument. All cameras must be tripod mounted and cannot use flash or strobe lighting. All recording is limited to the oral argument itself; no recording will be allowed a short Q/A between the judges and audience after the argument.

About this case: Christina M. Kovats was a home healthcare nurse hired to look after 89-year-old N.C., who had recently suffered from a stroke. On Oct. 28, 2011, Kovats was driving N.C. home from a weekly social event when she stopped to fuel her car. Kovats drove away without paying for gasoline and fled from a State Trooper who tried to stop her. After reaching speeds above 100 mph, Kovats lost control of her car. N.C. was seriously injured in the wreck, had to be cut from the car, suffered severe pain and died six weeks later. At the time of the incident, Kovats tested positive for oxymorphone, a drug more potent than morphine or heroin.

The State charged Kovats with Class B felony neglect of a dependent and three Class D felony offenses. After a four-day jury trial, Kovats was found guilty as charged. The trial court entered judgment of conviction on the jury verdicts, but at the sentencing hearing “merged” the Class D felony convictions into the Class B felony conviction and sentenced Kovats to 20 years in prison on the Class B felony only.

On appeal, Kovats claims that: (1) the trial court abused its discretion by considering as an aggravating factor that N.C. died six weeks after she sustained her injuries, (2) her 20-year sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender, and (3) the trial court should have vacated the judgments of conviction entered on the merged counts.

The Court of Appeals hears oral arguments across Indiana to enable Hoosiers to observe the court in action and learn more about its indispensable role in Indiana government. This will be the court’s 351st “Appeals on Wheels” since its 2000-2001 centennial, and the first in 2013.

For more information about the Court of Appeals or Kovats v. State, please visit


# # #

Contact Information:
Name: Martin DeAgostino
Phone: 317-234-4859
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Oral Arguments
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Courts, Indiana

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