Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Life Without Parole Sentence for Ohio Co. Man

Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 8:09 PM

By Prosecutor Lynn Deddens, news release

Andrew Conley was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 following the murder of his younger brother.

Andrew Conley.

(Ohio County, Ind.) - The Indiana Supreme Court recently upheld the Life without Parole Sentence issued to Andrew Conley by Ohio County Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey, after Conley brutally murdered his younger brother in 2009.

Conley was Seventeen and a half years old when he murdered his brother, Connor, who was 10 at the time, in November, 2009. Conley entered a guilty plea to the murder, but sought to avoid a sentence of life without parole during a six-day sentencing hearing held in September, 2010. Conley’s attorneys mainly argued that his age, together with his mental health status, should preclude the life without parole sentence. Judge Humphrey disagreed, as did the Indiana Court of Appeals, and the Indiana Supreme Court during Conley’s direct appeals.

However, Conley recently initiated a new set of appeals, claiming his lawyers did not properly represent him and that he should be re-sentenced. The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned Conley’s life without parole sentence, and directed Judge Humphrey to re-sentence Conley. The Indiana Supreme Court, in a 17-page opinion joined by all five justices, reversed the Court of Appeals, in the process rejecting all of Conley’s arguments.

“I am pleased with the decision of the Supreme Court and grateful for the Court’s thorough and thoughtful opinion,” said Lynn Deddens, Prosecuting Attorney for Dearborn and Ohio Counties. “The murder committed by Andrew Conley was one of the most brutal and callous acts ever committed in Ohio County. The evidence was clear and the sentence was just. With the life without parole sentence in place, the public need never fear what Mr. Conley might do if released from prison.”

The facts presented at the sentencing hearing in 2009 show Conley was babysitting his brother while his parents were working. Conley wanted to go out and drove Connor to other family members’ homes in an attempt to get them to watch Connor while Conley went out. Conley was unable to get anyone to watch Connor so he and his brother returned home. At some point, they engaged in wrestling where Conley placed his brother in a headlock causing him to pass out. Conley noticed his brother was bleeding from his face and dragged him to the kitchen. After putting on gloves he placed his hands on his brother’s throat and choked him for about 20 minutes. Conley then placed a plastic bag over his brother’s head, used electrical tape to secure it, and drug him by his feet from the house. Once outside he struck his brother’s head against the ground several times to assure his brother was dead before placing him in the trunk of the car and then later disposing of his body in a nearby park. Conley equated his urge to kill to that of a starving person craving a hamburger. He told investigators he felt like the serial killer portrayed in the Showtime television series “Dexter.”

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