ELKHART — An Elkhart man who was convicted of killing his ex-wife’s boyfriend is appealing the outcome of his November 2017 bench trial.

Scotty Irvin, 43, was found guilty of the Nov. 21, 2016 murder of 41-year-old Mark Huber and sentenced to 64 years in prison.

Irvin filed a petition for post-conviction relief Monday, arguing that his attorneys were ineffective both during his trial and in appealing his sentence to the Indiana Court of Appeals.

He argued in his appeal that his sentence, which was one year below the maximum for murder, was inappropriate given his character and the nature of the offense. But the appellate court upheld his sentence in a September 2018 order, remarking that the nature of the murder was “horrific.”

The judges noted that the record showed Irvin carefully planned the murder by studying Huber’s routine, lying in wait for him to be dropped off for work and then shooting him in the back of the head. He then took Huber’s body to another county and hid it in the sewer beneath a wildlife refuge, and further tried to cover up the crime by sending himself a text from Huber’s phone, they observed.

“The nature of the offense and Irvin’s lack of remorse more than support the trial court’s decision to impose a 64-year sentence,” the appellate court justices wrote.

‘Path of least resistance’

In his latest petition, Irvin argues that the trial proceedings are void because his constitutional rights were violated. He says he was not given full disclosure of the evidence that was shared with his attorney and that he wasn’t given much chance to communicate with his attorney or the court while in jail.

He also says his attorney failed to adequately conduct pre-trial investigation and failed to prepare any compelling, convincing or reasonable strategy to present an affirmative defense. He calls the performance of his trial attorney “sorely lacking” and claims that his lawyer “solely sought a procedural ‘out’ (via the path of least resistance) in order to avoid having to effectively defend” him at trial.

During the two-day trial, Irvin’s attorney, Jeffrey Majerek, asked whether he falsely confessed to the murder in order to protect someone else.

Irvin also claims that his attorney’s failure to object to adverse pre-trial and trial publicity may have prejudiced his case and resulted in a “definitive lack of impartiality making any and all verdicts suspect and the process itself unreliable.”

Irvin faults his appellate attorney as well, Marielena Duerring, for her “lackluster performance” and “lack of assertiveness” in his petition.

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