Tuggle v. State of Indiana - 4/15/14

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Tuesday  April 15, 2014 
3:00 PM  EST

3 p.m. 49A05-1308-CR-413. Tuggle arrived at an Indianapolis hospital emergency room, claiming to be the victim of a shooting and an armed robbery.  Although the police seized Tuggle’s clothing from the hospital and obtained a search warrant prior to performing any DNA testing, Tuggle contends that the DNA test results confirming that Tuggle was a suspect in another shooting should not have been admitted into evidence.  Tuggle argues that he never relinquished any privacy rights in his property and the clothing showed no immediate apparent incriminating characteristics.  Thus, Tuggle claims that the initial seizure of his clothing violated his rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.  Therefore, Tuggle contends that the results of the DNA testing on the clothing were improperly admitted into evidence.       

The State counters that the clothing was properly seized and secured under both the plain view doctrine and the presence of exigent circumstances.  The State argues that a search warrant allowing the DNA testing was properly obtained, and there was no violation of either the Fourth Amendment or the Indiana Constitution.  Hence, the State asserts that the results of the DNA testing pointing to Tuggle as a suspect of the murder were properly admitted into evidence.

Tuggle was ultimately convicted of murder and sentenced to fifty years of incarceration.  This appeal ensues.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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