Convicted felon released early from 42-year sentence shot by police

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GREENWOOD, Ind. – The suspect involved in a high-speed chase that ended in an officer-involved shooting was released early from prison.

Back in 2011, 36-year-old Paul Kinnaman was sentenced to 42 years for dealing meth.  He was freed after serving just four years.

“I felt it was a little early to let him out,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Melvin Wilhelm.

Wilhelm was on Kinnaman’s case when he was a trooper and found more than five grams of meth in his car during a traffic stop in 2010.  He was supposedly on his way to meet his probation officer.

In 2014, Kinnaman filed a handwritten letter asking for a reduction in his sentencing.  Wilhelm objected to that request, but during that time a new law was passed that allowed a judge to modify a sentence without a prosecutor’s consent.

“Because that law was passed I withdrew my motion to have this order set aside,” said Wilhelm.

Court papers reveal that Franklin Circuit Court Judge J. Steven Cox released Kinnaman and put him on probation in November of 2014.  Kinnaman still had nearly 34 years left on his sentence.

“If he received a 42-year sentence I felt he should serve more than 4 years, I mean I just did. He had a criminal record,” said Wilhelm.

Kinnaman’s criminal history goes back to at least 2003 and includes convictions for robbery, auto theft and resisting law enforcement.

Kinnaman was on probation when he allegedly led police on a chase in a stolen BMW.  The chase ended when Kinnaman crashed into four other vehicles at the intersection of Stop 11 and Shelby Street.   Investigators say Kinnaman pointed a gun at a Greenwood officer and that’s when the officer fired back, striking him at least once.

There is no reason given in the court papers as to why Judge Cox decided to shorten Kinnaman’s sentence.

“I’m not going to second guess the judge. I’m not in a position to do that. I have a job to do. I try to do the best I can and I’m sure the judge feels he’s doing the best he can,” said Wilhelm.

At last check, Kinnaman is still recovering at Eskenazi and is expected to survive.  The Greenwood police officer involved in the shooting is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.