Chambers v. State, No. 1179S302

Docket NºNo. 1179S302
Citation422 N.E.2d 1198
Case DateJuly 08, 1981
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 1198

422 N.E.2d 1198
Randy CHAMBERS, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 1179S302.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
July 8, 1981.

Page 1200

Michael E. Hunt, Monroe County Public Defender, Bloomington, for appellant.

Theodore L. Sendak, Atty. Gen., Palmer K. Ward, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee.

GIVAN, Chief Justice.

A trial by jury resulted in appellant being found guilty of rape, robbery and confinement. This is an appeal from that conviction.

The record reveals the following facts. On December 18, 1978, the victim went to a Bloomington laundromat where she was accosted by appellant. She was struck in the head and six dollars removed from her wallet. Appellant then forced her into a yellow automobile which she entered from the driver's side. The door on the right side was damaged so that it could not be opened. This fact frustrated later attempts of the victim to escape her assailant.

Defendant drove the victim to Cascades Park where he blindfolded her, then drove to a building and took her to a room where the rape occurred. They returned to the car and drove around for about thirty minutes. The defendant stopped the car, told the defendant to get out and lie face down on the ground. He went through her wallet again and removed her military identification card. After he had driven away, the victim got up and walked to the laundromat, which was only a few blocks away. She then drove her car to the home of some friends who took her to the hospital and reported the incident to the police.

Appellant claims the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress any testimony and the fruits thereof, relating to an oral identification by the victim. Appellant claims the circumstances surrounding the identification were so suggestive as to deny him due process of law.

The victim was unable to identify her assailant from two photographic displays which contained photographs of appellant. A few days after the incident, the victim received a telephone call from a man who identified himself as the rapist and told her that he had her military identification card. The victim notified the police who installed a device on her telephone which was capable of recording conversations and tracing the number from which the incoming calls were made. If the incoming calls were made from out of town, it would only reveal the exchange from which the call was made.

From subsequent telephone calls to the victim, from the same man, the police discovered

Page 1201

the calls originated from Elletsville, Indiana. Aware that the caller frequented a tavern after work, the police interviewed the bartender of Homer's Tavern, the only bar in Elletsville. He informed them Randy Chambers fit the physical description the victim had given to the police. The investigators went to appellant's residence where they learned that Chambers' mother, with whom he had been living at the time of the crime, owned a yellow Plymouth Scamp. Later, it was determined that on December 11, 1978, appellant's mother had taken the car to a body shop for an estimate. The car door was damaged and would not stay shut. The repairman testified she returned seven to ten days later, at which time he shut the door and locked it. Until she returned in January, the door could not be opened without a pry bar.

On January 12, 1979, believing appellant was the rapist, the detective, a police clerk and two police officers accompanied the victim to Homer's Tavern. The detective told the victim to be aware of everyone in the bar and asked whether she recognized anyone. She did not. Subsequently, appellant entered. The police told her the person they thought had abducted her was in the tavern. She walked across the room to look more closely at the defendant who had been watching her. She was still unable to identify appellant as her assailant. It should be noted, however, that appellant at the time had a beard, was wearing glasses and a ski cap which covered his hair. The victim testified these variable appearance characteristics had not been apparent on her assailant.

Since she was unable to identify appellant by his physical appearance, the detective sent her next door to the license branch with the clerk, with instructions to telephone the tavern and ask for Randy Chambers. After talking to appellant on the telephone for about five minutes, she told the clerk that the voice belonged to the man who raped and robbed her and who had made the telephone calls to her following the incident. Upon receiving this information, the police officers immediately arrested the appellant.

Appellant claims the circumstances surrounding the voice identification were so suggestive as to have deprived him of due process. The rule adopted by the United States Supreme Court in Stovall v. Denno, (1967) 388 U.S. 293, 87 S.Ct. 1967, 18 L.Ed.2d 1199, requires courts to look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding the identification procedure in order to determine whether "the confrontation conducted ... was so unnecessarily suggestive and conducive to irreparable mistaken identification" so as to deny the defendant due process of law. Stovall, supra, at 302, 87 S.Ct. at 1972, 18 L.Ed.2d at 1206.

Indiana has recognized the validity of voice identifications. Barnes v. State, (1971) 255 Ind. 674, 266 N.E.2d 617. The question confronting us is whether, under the circumstances of this case, the identification procedure used was overly suggestive. The procedure used in the instant case was similar to that which this Court approved in Zion v. State, (1977) 266 Ind. 563, 365 N.E.2d 766. In Zion, the day after the crime the victim gave a description to the police. Police took the victim to the place of a suspect's employment. An officer brought the suspect outside the building to talk to him so that the victim could see the suspect from her vantage point in the parking lot. After the victim identified the suspect, the police arrested him.

In upholding the conviction in Zion, this Court stated:

"At the point in time when appellant became a known suspect and the next reasonable step in the investigatory process was to determine if the victim could identify him, appellant did not know that he was suspected by the police and was not in police custody or restraint. Realistic alternatives for fairly presenting the suspect to the victim were therefore limited. Appellant suggests that the police should have invited him to stand in a line-up for identification by the victim. On the basis of the record before us, notification to the appellant that he was suspected would have endangered the victim,

Page 1202

and could have increased the risk that the suspect would flee.... While the level of suggestivity of the resulting confrontation is too high, the circumstances under which it was adopted demonstrate the necessity and acceptability of its use." Zion, supra, at 567-68, 365 N.E.2d at 769.

In the instant case, the victim was unable to identify appellant from police photographs. She was even unable to identify him at the tavern. However, as stated above, there was evidence that his appearance was different at the time he committed the crime.

On the other hand, her assailant had spoken freely to her during the commission of the crime. He had called her three times on the telephone after the offense was committed. The victim believed she could identify the perpetrator by his voice. Under these circumstances, the trial court was justified in finding that the procedure utilized by the police was reasonable and not unduly suggestive.

Appellant also asserts the substance of the telephone conversation between the victim and appellant which transpired when the victim called appellant at Homer's Tavern should have been suppressed since the oral identification itself was impermissible. We hold the trial court did not err in finding that the identification procedure was not unreasonably suggestive. We further hold the trial court did not err in finding this challenged testimony was not subject to suppression on the grounds asserted.

Appellant next argues the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress all evidence seized from his wallet by the police during a search at the police station. It was not until the appellant arrived at the police station following his arrest that the police asked him to surrender the contents of his pockets. The detectives looked through appellant's wallet in search of the victim's military identification card. Instead of the card, the detective discovered a small piece of paper with the victim's name, telephone number and address scrawled across it. This search, appellant claims, violated Article...

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30 practice notes
  • State v. Waddy, No. 90-22
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • April 15, 1992
    ...(the rapist knew where she lived). Thus, police had to use the Waddy-Milligan tapes with Wilson. Cf. Chambers v. State (Ind.1981), 422 N.E.2d 1198, 1201-1202. Theoretically, perhaps, at great cost in time and effort, police might have created several exemplars identical to the Waddy-Milliga......
  • Pearson v. State, No. 681S156
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 12, 1982
    ...after the overruling of his first motion for a directed verdict he has waived any error in that regard. Chambers v. State, (1981) Ind., 422 N.E.2d 1198; Parker v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 595, 358 N.E.2d Defendant argues that since the memory of the victim had been "tainted" by the hypnosis s......
  • Klopfenstein v. State, No. 2-681A193
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 21, 1982
    ...incident to an arrest. 442 U.S. at 764, n.11, 99 S.Ct. at 2593, n.11. This case is factually similar to Chambers v. State (1981) Ind., 422 N.E.2d 1198. There, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the search of a wallet found on the person of the arrestee, stating: "Chadwick does not protect fro......
  • Wallace v. State, No. 583S190
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 6, 1985
    ...abuse of that discretion can be established. Ramos v. State (1982), Ind., 433 N.E.2d 757, reh. denied; Chambers v. State (1981), Ind., 422 N.E.2d 1198, reh. denied. A mistrial is an extreme remedy and is Page 458 warranted only where lesser curative measures will not suffice. Furthermore, e......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • State v. Waddy, No. 90-22
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • April 15, 1992
    ...(the rapist knew where she lived). Thus, police had to use the Waddy-Milligan tapes with Wilson. Cf. Chambers v. State (Ind.1981), 422 N.E.2d 1198, 1201-1202. Theoretically, perhaps, at great cost in time and effort, police might have created several exemplars identical to the Waddy-Milliga......
  • Pearson v. State, No. 681S156
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 12, 1982
    ...after the overruling of his first motion for a directed verdict he has waived any error in that regard. Chambers v. State, (1981) Ind., 422 N.E.2d 1198; Parker v. State, (1976) 265 Ind. 595, 358 N.E.2d Defendant argues that since the memory of the victim had been "tainted" by the hypnosis s......
  • Klopfenstein v. State, No. 2-681A193
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • September 21, 1982
    ...incident to an arrest. 442 U.S. at 764, n.11, 99 S.Ct. at 2593, n.11. This case is factually similar to Chambers v. State (1981) Ind., 422 N.E.2d 1198. There, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the search of a wallet found on the person of the arrestee, stating: "Chadwick does not protect fro......
  • Wallace v. State, No. 583S190
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 6, 1985
    ...abuse of that discretion can be established. Ramos v. State (1982), Ind., 433 N.E.2d 757, reh. denied; Chambers v. State (1981), Ind., 422 N.E.2d 1198, reh. denied. A mistrial is an extreme remedy and is Page 458 warranted only where lesser curative measures will not suffice. Furthermore, e......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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