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
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Today, I want to use this opportunity to tell everyone about Dr agbuza of agbuzaodera(at)gmail. com, on how he help me reunited with my husband after 2 months of divorce.My husband divorce me because he saw another woman in his office and he said to me that he is no longer in love with me anymore and decide to divorce me.I seek help from the Net and i saw good talk about Dr agbuza and i contact him and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me which i use to get my husband back within 2 days.am totally happy because there is no reparations and side-effect. If you need his help Email him at agbuzaodera(at)gmail. com

  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

ADVERTISEMENT