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Judges find evidence properly admitted in drug case

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North Manchester resident Michael Carpenter lost his attempt before the Indiana Court of Appeals to have evidence tossed out that was collected when police officers arrived at his home attempting to serve an arrest warrant for a different man. Police believed the man being sought lived at Carpenter’s residence.

Wabash County Sheriff’s deputies were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for Austin Howard. The arrest warrant for Howard listed his last known address as an intersection in the county. Deputies asked North Manchester police officer Jeremy Jones to assist with the address. Jones told deputies Howard lived at a nearby house. Frank and Emily Price now live at that home with Carpenter.

When deputies arrived to serve the warrant, Deputy Matthew Cox saw something come out of a side window to the bathroom. He saw several people in the bathroom, including Carpenter, who was dumping something into the toilet. Cox yelled to stop and that he was a police officer. Officers saw what they believed were items used to make methamphetamine in the bathroom. They obtained a search warrant and later arrested Carpenter.

He was charged with Class B felony conspiracy to commit dealing in meth and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance, but he was only convicted of the drug charge. Carpenter’s attorney made repeated objections to the initial search.

In Michael Carpenter v. State of Indiana, 85A05-1202-CR-57, Carpenter argued that police didn’t have a legitimate reason for being on the property because Howard had not lived at the property for a couple of years and the officers did not have reason to believe that Howard was at the property. Carpenter also claimed that Cox’s initial entry into the side yard, looking into the window, and returning to the window with another deputy was unlawful.

The Court of Appeals wasn’t persuaded by Carpenter’s claims his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. The judges concluded the arrest warrant was valid and the officers had the authority to walk around the curtilage, where they could notice things in plain view such as through a bathroom window, Judge Michael Barnes wrote.

The appellate court also found that Carpenter waived his state constitutional argument, but even if he hadn’t, he would not prevail.  

 

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  1. Welcome to Hendricks County where local and state statutes (especially Indiana Class C misdemeanors) are given a higher consideration than Federal statues and active duty military call-ups.

  2. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  3. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  4. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  5. 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.

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