ILNews

COA: Court allowed to admit evidence from man’s home

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Allen County man who tried to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that law enforcement shouldn’t have searched his trash and been allowed to obtain a warrant based on evidence from that trash lost his appeal Wednesday.

Terrence Fuqua was implicated by two people arrested in connection with a cocaine-dealing investigation and a confidential informant that Fuqua was a cocaine dealer. Stephanie McCarter and Donald Stover, in separate and then in a joint interview with detective Darrick Engelman indentified Fuqua as one of their cocaine dealers.  

Detective Dain Strayer received the anonymous tip about Fuqua. The two men shared their acquired information on Fuqua. They later drove by Fuqua’s home and saw his trash outside to be collected. The detectives took two bags and found crack pipes and other paraphernalia dealing with cocaine. They also observed activities consistent with narcotics trafficking from Fuqua’s home.

They later got a search warrant for Fuqua’s home and found large amounts of cocaine, marijuana and other paraphernalia. Fuqua was charged with Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, Class D felony possession of a controlled substance, Class D felony dealing in marijuana, and Class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. Fuqua sought to suppress all evidence from the search warrant, but the trial court denied his request. He was convicted as charged.

In Terrence J. Fuqua v. State of Indiana, 02A03-1207-CR-342, Fuqua argued that the detectives didn’t have reasonable suspicion to search his trash and that the warrant wasn’t supported by probable cause.

The COA found that the trash pull was not based solely on the anonymous tip as Fuqua had argued, but also was based on the interviews with McCarter and Stovall. The information relayed by all three informants was enough for the detectives to reasonably suspect that Fuqua was engaged in criminal activity, Judge Paul Mathias wrote, meaning the trash pull was constitutionally permissible under the Indiana Constitution.

Fuqua also claimed there was no probable cause to serve as a basis for the search warrant as the informants relied upon weren’t credible. But their statements that Fuqua was dealing cocaine were corroborated by the evidence the detectives found during the trash pull. Also, the detectives observed activity consistent with drug dealing around Fuqua’s home.

“We conclude that the totality of the circumstances personally known to the detectives (as described in the affidavit) sufficiently corroborated the informants’ hearsay statements. Under the facts and circumstances before us, the search warrant was supported by probable cause. For this reason, the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted the evidence seized during the execution of the search warrant for Fuqua’s residence,” Mathias wrote.




 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I was looking through some of your blog posts on this internet site and I conceive this web site is rattling informative ! Keep on posting . dfkcfdkdgbekdffe

  2. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

  5. Once again Indiana has not only shown what little respect it has for animals, but how little respect it has for the welfare of the citizens of the state. Dumping manure in a pond will most certainly pollute the environment and ground water. Who thought of this spiffy plan? No doubt the livestock industry. So all the citizens of Indiana have to suffer pollution for the gain of a few livestock producers who are only concerned about their own profits at the expense of everyone else who lives in this State. Shame on the Environmental Rules Board!

ADVERTISEMENT