TOPEKA (KSNT) — After serving less than half of his sentence in prison, Michael Walter Hines Sr., days as inmate 0-0-5-19-55 could be numbered.
All because of a 2012 decision changing the state’s sentencing guideline.
“Multiple people are getting benefits based upon that lack of prior history,” said Topeka Defense Attorney, Billy Rork.
A 1988 Supreme Court changed the state’s sentencing guidelines. 24 years later, lawmakers approved that change where now those guidelines must apply.
“If an offense occurred prior to 1988 and it want classified as a person or non-person, then it had to be considered a non-person,” Rork explained. “No matter what, even if they try to put the facts into it.”
And that is why Michael Walter Hines Sr., could possible only serve out ten more years of his 48 year sentence for raping and impregnating his adoptive daughter Chloe Howey.
In 1990, Hines was sentenced for a burglary that is categorized as a Class D Felony.
In 2007, he plead guilty for raping his adopted daughter, but according to the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act, Hines was sentenced in the wrong category. instead of category B serving 48 years, the Ellsworth inmate will be moved into the C category. Where he’ll only serve close to 10 years.
“Why does the law get to tell me that the man that took my life away only has to serve this amount of time because they can’t go outside this box,” says Howey. “Why is his life on a grid? But mine is not?”
With this information can a judge overturn Hines sentencing?
“No the judge can’t override it because the judge would have had to done so at the time of the original sentencing,” Rork says.
Rork does not represent Hines, but did say a judge would be willing to let Howey present her case. But the only thing a judge can do is impose the correct sentence that should have been applied from the start.