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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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