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Last updated on Wednesday, October 29, 2008
(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the quadruple-murder conviction and sentences of a man who killed a woman and three children in 1998.
The Tuesday decision means Robert Bassett, Jr will continue to serve a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Bassett was convicted of the 1998 murders of 20-year-old Jamie Engleking, her 2-year-old daughter Jessica Brown, 11-month-old son Brandon Engleking, and a 12 year old neighbor, Amanda Davis. He was sentenced to four consecutive terms of life without parole. He appealed that conviction and it was overturned.
Bassett tried to hire a former cell mate to kill Chief Deputy Prosecutor Kathleen Burns before his second trial in the case. The cell mate went to authorities and Bassett was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to 80 years in prison. A second trial ended with the same result as the first.
Bassett had appealed the conviction in his second trial on the grounds that his attorney-client privilege had been violated when phone calls to his attorney from the Bartholomew County Jail were recorded and then listened to by Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash. Nash argued that there is a recording that plays before each phone call made from the jail telling anyone making and receiving the call that it is being recorded.
The court ruled that it was up to Bassett and his attorney to safeguard the confidentiality of their communication. Nash says it's a ruling that will have an effect on future cases in Indiana.
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