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Judges order trial in drunk driving case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the partial denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence, finding that the trial court properly determined that the evidence seized by the uniform on-duty police officers shouldn’t be suppressed pursuant to the exclusionary rule.

Carmel Police Officer Jeff Sedberry was driving home with his wife and daughter when he saw Clifton Ervin’s car weaving and crossing the center line. Sedberry believed Ervin might be drunk, so he called the Fishers Police Department to report Ervin’s location. He continued to follow Ervin’s car until Ervin abruptly pulled into a neighborhood, stopped his car and got out, walking toward Sedberry’s car. Sedberry was not in a police vehicle or police uniform and was off duty at the time.

Sedberry drew his gun, told Ervin he was a police officer and ordered him back to his car. Sedberry said he felt his family could be in danger based on Ervin’s behavior. Police arrived to the scene shortly and Ervin was ultimately arrested for driving while intoxicated and other related offenses.

He filed a motion to suppress, claiming he was illegally seized by Sedberry since he wasn’t in uniform or driving a marked police car. The trial court only granted the motion relating to the time Sedberry ordered Ervin back to his car until uniform officers arrived. The trial court denied suppressing the evidence relating to the uniformed officers, finding application of the exclusionary rule would be inappropriate.

In Clifton Ervin v. State of Indiana, 29A05-1109-CR-454, the appellate court analyzed Indiana Code 9-30-2-2, which outlines when an officer may arrest someone, with the goal of preventing police impersonators. It found that the statute wasn’t implicated to the extent that the evidence should be suppressed. The statute says an officer may not arrest a person for “violation of an Indiana law regulating the use and operation of a motor vehicle on an Indiana highway” unless the officer is in uniform or a marked police vehicle. However, Sedberry didn’t arrested Ervin.

The Court of Appeals remanded the cause for trial.

 

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  1. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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