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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. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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