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Convincing evidence, conflicting record doom search challenge

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A thief who went from car to car in a hotel parking lot was being watched by a hotel employee, and the credit card and cell phone belonging to guests that police later found on the man was convincing enough that an Indiana Court of Appeals panel discarded claims that the court should have suppressed the result of a search.

In David Rhodes v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1304-CR-321, the nine-page opinion of Judge Rudy R. Pyle III notes that while Rhodes’ attorney moved to suppress evidence of the cell phone and credit card at trial, there also was evidence in the record that Rhodes did not object.

The unanimous opinion joined by judges Michael Barnes and Terry Crone held that Rhodes waived his unlawful search and seizure argument that wouldn’t have prevailed anyway.

“Waiver notwithstanding, we conclude there is no error — fundamental or otherwise — because the specific facts before us support the conclusion that the evidence was properly seized pursuant to a search incident to arrest,” Pyle wrote.

After inspecting their vehicles, victimized hotel guests told police their cell phone and credit card were missing. Police relied on the hotel employee’s description of a suspect, and Rhodes, found in another nearby parking lot, matched the description, giving police probable cause to search him.
 
“Thus, the trial court did not err, let alone commit fundamental error, by admitting the cell phone and credit card into evidence. Accordingly, we affirm Rhodes’s convictions,” Pyle wrote.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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