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Mother, wife could consent to search of home for meth

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A man convicted of making methamphetamine objected to his conviction, arguing that his mother, who he claims has Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife did not have the authority to allow police to search his home on the report he was making the drug.

Jennifer and Casey Walker lived with Casey Walker’s mother, Mary Walker, who owned the home. Casey Walker served as her power of attorney, but his mother was not under a guardianship. Jennifer Walker saw her husband put something into a plastic bottle and smelled a chemical odor, so she believed he was making meth. She took her mother-in-law to her sister’s home and called police.

Police met with the wife and mother, and they consented to police entering the house. Police knocked on the door several times and went inside after receiving no response. They placed Casey Walker in handcuffs and noticed a chemical odor in the home. Officers also saw objects related to the manufacturing of meth. This led to a search warrant, where officers found other related items.

Casey Walker sought to suppress the evidence, claiming the search warrant wasn’t valid and his wife and mother couldn’t authorize police to enter the home. His motions were denied, and he was convicted of Class A felony manufacturing meth and sentenced to 30 years.

In Casey Walker v. State of Indiana, 76A04-1204-CR-207, Casey Walker argued his mother was incompetent and could not consent. But at the time of the search, Mary Walker wasn’t under a guardianship and was not divested of making decisions for herself, Judge John Baker wrote. In addition, Casey Walker didn’t present any evidence regarding his mother’s mental capacity.

The judges found Jennifer Walker had the ability to consent to the search: She is Casey Walker’s wife and they live in the same home. They also found the case distinguishable from Georgia v. Randolph, 547 U.S. 103 (2006).

“Unlike in Randolph, there is no indication that Walker explicitly refused consent. Thus, the trial court properly admitted the evidence discovered during the search, and we affirm the decision of the trial court,” Baker wrote.

 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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