844 N.E.2d 566 (Ind.App. 2006), 64A04-0508-CR-438, Matson v. State

Docket Nº:64A04-0508-CR-438.
Citation:844 N.E.2d 566
Party Name:Christopher M. MATSON, Appellant-Defendant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
Case Date:March 30, 2006
Court:Court of Appeals of Indiana
 
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Page 566

844 N.E.2d 566 (Ind.App. 2006)

Christopher M. MATSON, Appellant-Defendant,

v.

STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 64A04-0508-CR-438.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 30, 2006

Transfer Denied June 13, 2006.

Page 567

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 568

Susan K. Carpenter, Public Defender of Indiana, J. Michael Sauer, Deputy Public Defender, Indianapolis, for Appellant.

Steve Carter, Attorney General of Indiana, Monika Prekopa Talbot, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, for Appellee.

OPINION

KIRSCH, Chief Judge.

Christopher M. Matson was convicted of murder 1 and adjudged to be a habitual offender 2 after a jury trial and was sentenced to a total of ninety-five years. He appeals, raising one issue, which we restate as whether the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence obtained as a result of a warrantless search and seizure of Matson's belongings.

We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On May 28, 2000, Richard Pinkerton was shot and killed at his home in Chesterton, Indiana. It was later determined that Pinkerton was shot with a .45 caliber handgun. During the investigation of this murder, the police began to suspect Matson as the shooter. Matson had previously lived

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in Indiana, but had moved to Las Vegas in 1998 or 1999. He had been back in Indiana visiting friends and family at the time of the murder and returned to Las Vegas a few days after Pinkerton's murder.

Shortly after returning to Las Vegas, Matson learned through relatives that the police wanted to talk to him in connection with a murder case. He then called his ex-wife, Elizabeth Silva, who lived in Arizona and asked her if he could bring his cats to her. Matson drove to Silva's residence and told her that he was in trouble and that he wanted her to take care of his cats for a few weeks. He then drove back to Las Vegas to get two more cats. When he returned to Arizona, Matson stayed with Silva off and on for several days. He told her that he wanted to sell his car, a tan Ford Crown Victoria, and asked permission to store some items in her trailer. Silva initially refused, but later relented and allowed Matson to put his belongings under her trailer. She gave him some plastic garbage bags to protect the items from weather conditions, and on June 14, 2000, Matson placed his things under the trailer with the understanding that he would remove them after a short period of time. He then left in his car.

Later that same day, FBI Agent W. James Gretz and another officer went to Silva's trailer to speak to her about Matson. While the officers were there, Silva told them that Matson had placed some of his belongings under her trailer and pointed out the location of these items. She then requested that the officers remove the items because she did not want them there. The officers did not take the items at that time because Matson was expected to return to Silva's trailer sometime, and they did not want to alert him that they had been there. As the officers drove away, they saw a tan Ford Crown Victoria, matching the description of Matson's car, driving in the direction of Silva's trailer. The white male driving the car matched Matson's description. Upon seeing Matson, the officers turned their cars around to follow, but lost sight of him in the process. The officers proceeded to Silva's trailer and learned that Matson had left his car there and had disappeared on foot after informing Silva that the police were after him.

Agent Gretz and many other officers searched for Matson in the area near Silva's trailer that night. After...

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