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Divided appellate court reinstates charges stemming from illegal stop

August 15, 2013
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An Indianapolis man who faced multiple charges when he fled from and battled with police after a stop the state concedes was illegal still may be prosecuted on evidence gained after he fled, two of three Court of Appeals judges ruled Tuesday.

Judges Clay Bradford and Elaine Brown reversed the trial court’s suppression of that evidence, but affirmed evidence of marijuana and cocaine possession that proceeded the suspect’s flight in State of Indiana v. Robert Owens, 49A02-1210-CR-817.

Owens was charged after he was arrested late at night emerging from behind a westside Indianapolis school building. Passing Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers stopped him, one admitted “on a hunch,” and Owens admitted swallowing a “blunt.” Police pressed Owens to admit to drug possession, at which time he fled, later fought with police, and was stunned twice with a Taser.

He was charged with Class A felony dealing in cocaine, Class A felony cocaine possession, two counts of Class D felony battery on a law enforcement officer, two counts of Class D felony resisting law enforcement, and Class D felony obstruction of justice.

"Evidence related to Owens’s flight from and battery of officers ... should not have been suppressed. To the extent that the trial court’s order suppressed this evidence, we reverse it," Bradford wrote for the majority. "We conclude, however, that any and all evidence related to the 'blunt' that Owens allegedly attempted to ingest and the alleged cocaine found on his person should be suppressed, and affirm that portion of the trial court’s order."

Judge Patricia Riley in dissent wrote that the trial court was in the better position to judge which evidence arising from the illegal stop should be thrown out.

"By suppressing this evidence, the trial court apparently believed that Owens’s actions resulted from the officers’ exploitation of the illegal stop," Riley wrote. "I would uphold its suppression of evidence relating to Owens’s flight from and battery of" the officers.  


 

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  1. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  2. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  3. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  4. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  5. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

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