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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 4 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Kolyann Williams v. State of Indiana, an 8-page opinion, Judge Bradford writes:

Appellant/Defendant Kolyann Williams was pulled over by Kokomo Police Officer Jeff Packard when Officer Packard noticed that one of the tail lamps on Williams’s vehicle had a hole and was emitting white light. As Packard approached the vehicle, he detected the odor of marijuana. After a police canine alerted to the presence of drugs in Williams’s vehicle, Officer Packard retrieved a bag containing marijuana from Williams’s person. Appellee/Plaintiff the State of Indiana (“the State”) charged Williams with Class A misdemeanor marijuana possession, and the trial court found him guilty as charged, sentenced him to 365 days of incarceration, and suspended 363 days to probation. Williams contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because Officer Packard’s stop was illegal. Because we conclude that Officer Packard did not have reasonable suspicion to believe that Williams had committed an infraction, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.
In Terrance Bowens v. State of Indiana , a 6-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:
Terrance Bowens challenges the sufficiency of evidence to support his conviction for class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon (“SVF”). Finding the evidence sufficient, we affirm.
In Stuart Bookwalter v. State of Indiana , a 12-page opinion, Judge Bailey writes:
To convict Bookwalter of Possession of a Syringe, as charged, the State was required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bookwalter possessed, with intent to violate Chapter 16-42-19 of the Indiana Code (“the Legend Drug Act” or “the Act”), a hypodermic syringe or needle or an instrument adapted for the use of a legend drug by injection in a human being. See I.C. § 16-42-19-18. * * *

The question now before us distills to whether possession of a syringe without a valid prescription for a legend drug, insulin, or anabolic steroids, with intent to inject a non-legend drug, is sufficient to violate Section 16-42-19-18 of the Act. Bookwalter contends that it is not. * * *

The State observed at oral argument that a predecessor statute, the Dangerous Drug Act, criminalized possession of a syringe with intent to violate that act, under the definitions of which heroin was classified as a dangerous drug. * * * The State’s reference to this change proves too much: the legislature’s revision of the Legend Drug Act to exclude from its scope heroin weighs in favor of concluding that the Act is at best ambiguous as to whether possession of a syringe with intent to inject heroin is a criminal act under Section 16-42-19-18.

Given the Act’s ambiguity as to whether intent to inject any substance that is not also a legend drug, insulin, or anabolic steroid is within the scope of Section 16-42-19-18’s intent element, we must construe the statute in favor of Bookwalter to conclude that intent to inject heroin is not fairly covered by the Legend Drug Act’s definition of the offense of possession of a syringe. * * *

Having concluded that Section 16-42-19-18 does not fairly encompass within its language Bookwalter’s intended use of the syringe to inject heroin, we reverse Bookwalter’s conviction for that offense.

NFP civil opinions today (1):

Dallas C. Myers v. Heather D. Myers (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (3):

Christopher DeMoss v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Demetrius Sanders v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Christopher Truman v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 9, 2014 10:44 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions