Appeals court blocks man’s new sentence, release

By The Associated Press

MUNCIE — The Indiana Court of Appeals has blocked a man’s release from prison in a brutal 1991 slaying.

The court on Thursday ruled Delaware Circuit Judge Kimberly Dowling had no authority to re-sentence 45-year-old Matthew Stidham of Eaton for killing 31-year-old Daniel Barker. Dowling granted a new sentence in March that made Stidham eligible for release, but the appeals court ruled the next day it was putting the new sentence on hold until it ruled on the state’s appeal of her decision to grant one.

The Star Press reports Thursday’s ruling noted the Indiana Supreme Court upheld Stidham’s convictions and sentence, ruling on issues concerning the severity of his punishment.

Stidham was twice convicted of murder and other charges. Barker was beaten and stabbed 47 times and thrown into a river.

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