COA affirms denial of motion to suppress traffic stop evidence

A Lawrence County woman cannot appeal the trial court’s denial of her motion to suppress drug evidence obtained during a traffic stop because the officers who stopped her had a reasonable suspicion to do so.

After officers stopped Deborah Pridemore’s vehicle for crossing the center line after a controlled drug deal, Bedford Police Department Officer Anthony Wray told Pridemore that he had reason to believe there were drugs in her car based on an anonymous tip. Pridemore willingly produced a baggie containing methamphetamine, leading to her arrest and being charged with possession of meth and marijuana.

During her trial, Pridemore moved to suppress the drug evidence, arguing that the officers did not have reasonable suspicion initiate the traffic stop, but the Lawrence Superior Court denied her motion. Judge Edward Najam, writing for a unanimous panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals, affirmed that decision on appeal in Deborah S. Pridemore v. State of Indiana, 47A01-1607-CR-1652, writing that because the officers had observed Pridemore crossing “left of center” in her vehicle, a Class C infraction, they were justified in their stop.

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