Anderson sentenced to 57 years for 2016 murder
La PORTE — Sentencing for the 2016 murder of a Michigan City man took place in La Porte County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
On Nov. 20, a jury found Kersee Anderson, 30, of Michigan City, guilty of fatally shooting Wade Hatcher with a 9 mm handgun.
Surveillance footage, along with incriminating social media posts, linked Anderson to the shooting.
With the guilty verdict, Anderson was facing up to 65 years for the murder of Hatcher, and an additional 12 years for possession of a firearm by a violent felon.
Before sentencing, two people were called to the stand.
Testimony was given by the lead detective in the case. The officer informed the court that Anderson claimed to have once had a gang affiliation, but was no longer involved with the gang at the time of the shooting.
The victim’s mother gave a powerful victim impact statement before the court. She claimed that she had once taken care of Anderson’s daughter in the past, although it was unclear in what capacity. She told Anderson that the victim won’t be able to be there to see his child grow up, “just like you won’t be there to see yours.”
She asked Anderson, “Now that I’m sitting here, looking at you face-to-face, I want to know, if you could do it all over, would you do it again?”
The courtroom came to a pause until Circuit Court Judge Thomas Alevizos explained to her, “He’s not going to answer. It would not be appropriate if he did,” being that he had not yet been sentenced and was still maintaining innocence.
“You were a coward then, and you’re a coward now,” the victim’s mother said as she looked Anderson in the eye.
Many showed up to support Anderson, but none of his family came forward to testify on his behalf.
Numerous aggravating factors came to light during sentencing. La Porte County Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Buitendorp said Anderson’s many previous offenses should be taken into consideration during sentencing.
According to Buitendorp, Anderson has had three juvenile offenses, two crimes of violence and 13 arrests as an adult.
She also pointed out that he has never successfully completed any of the probation sentences he had been given, including work release. He had always been in violation of the terms of his probation sentences. Therefore, the state did not believe he would be responsive to that kind of rehabilitation.
Attorney Russell Brown, who represented Anderson during the November trial, presented mitigating factors to the court. He pointed the court’s attention to several members of Anderson’s family who had showed up for his sentencing. He then said Anderson had support from his family and that is the biggest factor for recidivism.
Brown also mentioned that Anderson’s 13-year-old daughter relied on his financial support, which he would be unable to provide while incarcerated.
Buitendorp countered those claims by pointing out Anderson’s lifelong tendency for committing crime, stating that his family did not have enough influence over him to keep him on the straight and narrow.
She then said Anderson only provided $20 a week in support of his daughter, which the state found “negligible.”
The court found the aggravating factors to outweigh any mitigators in this case.
Anderson was sentenced to 57 years for the murder of Wade Hatcher. He was credited with 344 days of time served.
Anderson’s additional count regarding the possession of a firearm by a serious and violent felon carried an advisory sentence of six years, of which the court carried out.
Both sentences will be served concurrently, and he will be required to serve 75 percent of time given.
Brown made it clear that Anderson still maintains his claim of innocence in the murder of Wade Hatcher.
When asked by Alevizos if he intended to appeal his sentence, Brown answered on Anderson’s behalf. Brown informed the judge that Anderson had intentions to appeal and that he would not be retaining Brown to represent him in the appeal process and that he would require a public defender.