The Journal Gazette
Friday, July 19, 2019 1:00 am

Murder conviction appeal denied

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

An Albion man convicted of killing a 21/2-year-old girl he was babysitting will not have his appeal heard by the Indiana Supreme Court. 

Trevor Wert's appeal was one of 18 denied transfer last week, meaning the high court will not hear the case and the conviction stands. 

Wert, 43, pleaded guilty in December to murder in the death of Railee Ewing. The girl was beaten in October and he kicked her, sending her crashing into a door frame, according to court documents. 

An emergency room doctor found several injuries and noted bruising on the girl's body was too extensive to entirely document.

Then-Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman said the case was one of the most brutal investigators had seen. 

Wert was ordered to spend 65 years in prison. The Indiana Court of Appeals let stand the sentence, rejecting an argument the trial court should not have entered into a sentencing order suggesting a judge was obligated to hand down at least a 65-year sentence. 

The appeals court did send the case back to the trial court to rewrite the sentencing order. 

“Wert has failed to persuade us that his 65-year sentence is inappropriate,” an April 11 decision states. 

Wert in May sought an appeal to the state Supreme Court, which apparently was similarly unswayed. Denials of transfer do not include specifics on justices' decisions. 

Railee was with Wert at his home Oct. 31 when she woke him up by turning on a bathroom faucet, court documents state. That enraged Wert, who hit and kicked the girl, investigators said. 

Wert is on dialysis and will likely die in prison, Blackman told The Journal Gazette in December. Indiana Department of Correction records show Wert is being held at the Plainfield Correctional Facility. 

His earliest release date is Oct. 31, 2083.

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