Brantley v. State

CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana
PartiesAnthony Brantley, Appellant-Defendant, v. State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
Docket Number21A-CR-582
Decision Date02 September 2021

Anthony Brantley, Appellant-Defendant,

State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 21A-CR-582

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 2, 2021

Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the Marion Superior Court No. 49D25-1907-F6-26649. The Honorable Clark Rogers, Judge

Attorney for Appellant Michael C. Borschel Indianapolis, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee Theodore E. Rokita Attorney General of Indiana Tina L. Mann Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana



Case Summary

[¶1] Anthony Brantley ("Brantley") appeals his conviction, following a bench trial, of possession of paraphernalia, as a Class C misdemeanor.[1] The only issue he raises on appeal is whether the State provided sufficient evidence to support his conviction.

[¶2] We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶3] On July 2, 2019, Brantley was a passenger in a vehicle that was speeding in Indianapolis. Officers stopped the vehicle, and Officer Dustin Danai ("Officer Danai") of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department ("IMPD") approached the passenger-side door of the stopped vehicle. Officer Danai illuminated the inside of the vehicle with his flashlight and observed a "green leafy vegetation substance covering [Brantley's] outer clothing." Tr. at 13. Because Officer Danai believed the leafy substance to be marijuana, he instructed Brantley to exit the vehicle and he placed Brantley in handcuffs. The subsequent search of Brantley's person revealed a baggie in Brantley's left hand and a pipe in his right pants pocket. Officer Danai then searched the vehicle and discovered "what was [sic] commonly known as a blunt in between the passenger seat and the center console." Id. at 14.

[¶4] The State initially brought several charges against Brantley but ultimately sought and obtained a dismissal of all charges except one count of possession of paraphernalia, as a Class C misdemeanor.[2] At Brantley's January 11, 2021, bench trial, Officer Danai testified that he had been employed by the IMPD for twelve years and that he had attended a twenty-six-week-long training that included narcotics training. He testified that the pipe he found in Brantley's pocket was made of glass, had burn marks on both sides of it, and had a "chore boy" inside of it acting as a makeshift filter. Id. at 15. Officer Danai recognized the pipe as drug paraphernalia that could be used to smoke crack cocaine or other drugs, "such as THC or marijuana." Id. at 20.

[¶5] Officer Danai further testified as follows:

Q. (Prosecutor): The -- the leafy substance that was found in the car is synthetic marijuana, correct
A. (Officer Danai): It was later -- not officially by any lab
A.: Officially, no. It is not confirmed to be anything marijuana or synthetic. However, upon my experience after observing the blunt and the items and the baggie, it appeared to me to be synthetic upon observation
Q.: You didn't think the substance was marijuana?
A.: Initially did. Later on, determined and found out that -- or determined that it was probably, most likely synthetic.

Id. at 20-21 (emphasis added).

[¶6] The trial court found Brantley guilty as charged and sentenced him accordingly. This appeal ensued.

Discussion and Decision

[¶7] Brantley alleges the State failed to provide sufficient evidence to support his conviction....

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