Appellate court upholds 25-year sentence in Peru carjacking

Coleman strikes out in bid to reduce sentencing range

Darion D. Coleman

An appeals court has upheld the 25-year sentence for an Indiana man who carjacked a vehicle in autumn 2021 in Peru, injuring the driver while making his getaway.

Darion Coleman, now 32, did not dispute his complicity in the carjacking at Clocktower Shell nor try to reverse his conviction from La Salle County Circuit Court. Instead, he challenged only whether a 15-year-old passenger was in the SUV at the precise moment Coleman hijacked it. The minor’s presence elevated the charge and effectively doubled Coleman’s sentencing range.

In a Friday ruling, the Third District Appellate Court said the video and testimony showed the minor still was inside the vehicle when the offense occurred.

“[Coleman] used force to take the vehicle through reaching into the driver’s side and, with his right arm, guiding [the driver] out of the vehicle,” Justice Adrienne Albrecht wrote. “This action occurred while [the minor] remained seated in the vehicle as a passenger. Accordingly, we find in viewing the evidence most favorable to the state that the aggravating factor existed at the time of the offense.”

Coleman will resume serving two sentences, the second for an unrelated conviction from Montgomery County. He is scheduled for parole until spring of 2034, a month before his 43rd birthday.