ILNews

Transfer granted to out-of-state warrant case

Jennifer Nelson
May 29, 2009
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The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer Thursday in a case involving an arrest in Indiana with an invalid Alabama warrant.

In David A. Shotts v. State of Indiana, No. 71A03-0808-CR-400, the Court of Appeals reversed David Shotts' conviction of carrying a handgun without a license with a prior felony, ruling the Alabama warrant used to arrest him was invalid pursuant to the Fourth Amendment and Indiana Constitution. The warrant didn't provide any facts from which a neutral magistrate could have drawn his own conclusion as to the existence of probable cause and the Alabama affiant merely alleged Shotts had committed a crime.

The appellate court also ruled the good faith exception isn't applicable to the evidence seized during Shotts' arrest. The state argued because Indiana officers executed the arrest warrant without actually seeing it, they can't be charged with knowledge of any defects and thus must have acted in good faith. But because the Alabama officer who obtained the warrant in the first place should have known his testimony was insufficient to support a probable cause determination, his actions preclude the good faith exception from applying in this case, the judges ruled.

"To the extent that the U.S. Supreme Court is limiting the viability of the exclusionary rule pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, we are not convinced that our supreme court will follow suit and diminish safeguards historically recognized pursuant to Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution," wrote Judge Terry Crone.

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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