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. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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