Daniel Moore, a former pastor, and Chris Wheat, a former swim coach, are expected to arrive downtown Thursday, where they will begin the other portion of their sentences. It is this portion that is causing serious concerns for the victims’ families, a state senator and a judge in one of the cases.
Moore was sentenced to IDOC to serve 10 years, but he is being released just after serving two years. He received five years off his sentence for good behavior and one year was reduced for earning an associate’s degree and 703 days for earning a bachelor's degree.
Wheat is being released just two years into an eight-year sentence, also for earning college degrees. He got four years off for good behavior, one year for his associate’s and 489 days reduced for a bachelor’s degree.
"We are going to have to have a complete understanding of which colleges serve the Department of Corrections and make sure they understand and what a policy should be,” said Sen. Jim Merritt. “This transfer in credits is ridiculous. I think we need a complete revamping of the law of what education credits for incarcerates is all about."
Wheat's victim's father and Judge Carol Orbison, who presided over Wheat’s case, said Wheat manipulated the system.
"The Indiana Department of Corrections has interpreted the statute in a manner that is not only in violation of the spirit of the law, but the letter of the law the statute is unfortunately not as clear as it should be on the credit hours that are acquired," said Judge Orbison.
Both men are expected to be released from prison and transferred to a community correctional facility.
Moore will then be released on parole to an approved residential home. Wheat will be fitted with a GPS monitor before heading to Brandon Hall Halfway House, where he will spend time on his work release sentence.
Both men will also register as convicted sex offenders.