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Court properly admitted gun into evidence

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s conviction of Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, rejecting his argument that the gun he tossed away while running from police should not have been admitted into evidence.

In Jermaine Hines v. State of Indiana, 48A02-1206-CR-442, Anderson police believed Hines may have been involved in a shooting at a gas station based on interviews with several witnesses. Police decided they wanted to talk to Hines again – he had previously denied involvement in the shooting – and saw him leaving a home on a moped that was the base for drug trafficking.

Uniformed offices in a marked car saw Hines at the gas station and called out to Hines that they wanted to speak to him. Hines sped off on his moped, later crashing it and running from police on foot. While the officers were chasing him on foot, they saw Hines throw something and heard it hit against a house. Hines tossed a .45 caliber handgun.

He was charged with resisting law enforcement and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, but only convicted of the firearm charge. His motion to suppress the evidence was denied.

Hines argued that the police did not have legal cause to detain him, and, as a result, he was free to decline to speak with the officers. He conceded that the firearm was abandoned, but he claimed that it was abandoned only after law enforcement officers attempted to illegally seize him, so the trial court should have denied the state’s request to admit the firearm into evidence.

Judge Rudolph Pyle III, writing for the court, concluded that the police had reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to detain Hines based on information from witnesses of the shooting, the observation that Hines left a drug house, and when officers approached him to speak, Hines fled.

The judges agreed with the state that the seizure of the firearm isn’t subject to protections of the Fourth Amendment because Hines abandoned it. The facts of the case show Hines’ intention to relinquish any possessory interest in the firearm by tossing it as he fled from the officers, Pyle wrote.

 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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