Appeals on Wheels: COA heads north, south for handgun possession cases

The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel both north and south this week to hear oral arguments in two cases involving handgun possession without a license.

Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik and Judges Margret Robb and Elizabeth Tavitas will first hear the case of Gary Tindall v. State of Indiana, 18A-CR-01487 at 10:30 a.m. CST Tuesday at Andrean High School in Merrillville.

In that case, Gary Tindall was pulled over after failing to stop at a red stoplight. Tindall was later convicted of Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license when an officer saw him reach for his glove compartment box as the officer was performing a records check during the traffic stop. The officer then conducted a search of Tindall’s vehicle and found a handgun in the locked glove box, while Tindall had no license to carry it.

On appeal, Tindall argues the search of his vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.

The high school is located at 5959 Broadway, Merrillville, 46410.

Then on Thursday, judges Edward W. Najam, L. Mark Bailey and Melissa S. May will travel south to hear the argument of Tre Ron Smith v. State of Indiana, 18A-CR-01633 at 10:45 a.m. EST Thursday at Seymour High School in Seymour.

Tre Ron Smith appeals his conviction of Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license. Smith was arrested after Indianapolis police heard a “shots-fired” radio run, and Smith’s vehicle matched the description of the vehicle the officers had received. The officers thus stopped Smith and found a handgun belonging to himon the driver’s side floor. 

Smith argues the search of the vehicle violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment because police did not have probable cause to stop his vehicle, and because the warrantless search did not occur under any circumstances recognized as a warrant exception under the Fourth Amendment.  Smith also argues the search violated his rights under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution based on the totality of the circumstances.

Police, however, contend the search was supported by probable cause because Smith’s vehicle matched the description officers had of the vehicle from which shots were fired.

Smith’s case will be heard at the local high school in Seymour, 1350 W. 2nd St., 47274

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