Driver v. State, No. 34A02-9106-CR-253

Docket NºNo. 34A02-9106-CR-253
Citation594 N.E.2d 488
Case DateJune 24, 1992
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 488

594 N.E.2d 488
Ted H. DRIVER, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
No. 34A02-9106-CR-253. 1
Court of Appeals of Indiana,
First District.
June 24, 1992.
Transfer Denied Aug. 28, 1992.

Page 489

Caroline B. Briggs, Flora, for appellant-defendant.

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Michael Gene Worden, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellee-plaintiff.

ROBERTSON, Judge.

Ted H. Driver appeals from his jury trial conviction of dealing in a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance as a class B felony. He raises four allegations of error. Because we reverse, we will address only those errors which mandate reversal or which affect retrial:

I. whether the defendant was denied his right to be present at trial, right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and right to counsel when the Court permitted the State to introduce prior testimony taken in the defendant's absence;

II. whether the defendant's trial violated the mandates of Criminal Rule 4(C);

III. whether external influences and communications with the jury during deliberations deprived the defendant of a fair trial.

I

Driver received a new trial because he had not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his right to be present at his first trial. On retrial, the trial court admitted testimony of a police officer who was dead by the time Driver was retried but who had testified at the first trial. Essentially, the officer had stated that, after his arrest, Driver had admitted he had given or had allowed the informant to take some Percodan (oxycoidane) pills which had been in Driver's possession and for which he had had a prescription.

Driver claims that, because he was not present at his first trial and because he had not validly waived that right, the use of the prior testimony was improper: he was not present to confront the witnesses; he was not present to consult with counsel; he was not present to aid counsel in cross-examination. Because a section of the Indiana Constitution would prevent the admission of the testimony on retrial, we will address only the confrontation allegation related to that section.

Article I, Sec. 13 of the Indiana Constitution provides: "[I]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the right ... to meet the witnesses face to face." Brady v. State (1991), Ind., 575 N.E.2d 981, 986.

Of the various meanings which this phrase undoubtedly has in context with the rest of Article I, Sec. 13 and in law, its literal meaning is primary, unmistakable,

Page 490

and dominant. A face-to-face meeting occurs when persons are positioned in the presence of one another so as to permit each to see and recognize the other. While the language employed in Article I, Sec. 13 of our Indiana Bill of Rights has much the same meaning and history as that employed in the Sixth Amendment, it has a special concreteness and is more detailed ... The right is not absolute. It is secured where the testimony of a witness at a former hearing or trial on the same case is reproduced and admitted, where the defendant either cross-examined such witness or was afforded an opportunity to do so, and the witness cannot be brought to testify again because he has died, become insane, or is permanently or indefinitely absent from the state and is therefore beyond the jurisdiction of the court in which the case is pending. In such cases, there has been a prior face-to-face meeting with the opportunity to cross-examine the witness before a trier of fact in the same case and a necessity for the production of testimony exists.

Id. at 987. (Citation omitted.) While the right to cross-examination may be the primary interest protected by the confrontation right in Article I, Sec. 13, the defendant's right to meet the witnesses face-to-face has not been subsumed by the right to cross examination. Id.

In this case, Driver did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his right to be present at his first trial. A police officer testified at that trial, and counsel for Driver cross-examined him. Driver, however, did not meet the officer face-to-face at trial. We must conclude he had no opportunity to do so because he did not validly waive his right to be present to do so. The officer's testimony was reproduced and admitted at the second trial. The police officer was dead by the time of retrial and obviously could not be brought to testify again so a necessity for the production of the testimony existed. However, there was "no person or body interposed between the witness and the accused" such that "a face-to-face meeting as contemplated by the Constitution" occurred at any time. Id. at 989.

In addition, we cannot find the admission of the testimony to be harmless. Essentially, the officer had stated that Driver had admitted he had given the confidential informant the Percodan. The evidence otherwise showed that the informant, who admitted having dealt Percodan in the past, was not searched before he engaged in the "controlled buy" with Driver at a bar. The informant had begun to work for the police when faced with the possibility of an habitual offender enhancement. At the bar, police officers saw something pass from Driver to the informant but could not tell what it was. The informant left the bar with the police officers; and they engaged in another drug transaction, went to another bar, and then returned to the first bar. Only then did the informant give the officers the Percodan, which he claimed to have received earlier from Driver. The officers gave the informant money to give to Driver. Once inside the bar again, the confidential informant went into the back room, out of the sight of the officers. The police officers did not see the confidential informant give Driver the money, as he claimed to have done.

The strongest evidence against Driver came from an admitted Percodan drug dealer who, in light of a possible charge of habitual offender, could be said to have been motivated to produce results for the police. The police officers did not search him before the "controlled" buy, did not obtain the drugs purportedly received from Driver until other intervening events occurred, and did not see either the drugs or the money pass between the two. From the officers' viewpoint, they arrived at the bar where the informant was present, saw something pass between Driver and the informant at one point, and received Percodan from the informant sometime later. The informant stated that Driver had sold him the substance. The State bolstered this evidence with the dead police officer's testimony about Driver's admission, which

Page 491

enhanced the confidential informant's...

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12 practice notes
  • Burris v. State, No. 49S00-9203-DP-187
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 4, 1994
    ...to submit by way of an offer to prove the potential testimony of the jurors. Appellant also cites Driver v. State (1992), Ind.App., 594 N.E.2d 488 for the proposition that while jurors cannot impeach their verdicts they can testify as to what happened during deliberation. However, in that c......
  • State v. Owings, No. 32SO5-9310-CR-1194
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 29, 1993
    ...at trial); Miller, 517 N.E.2d at 74 (videotaped statement of child where defendant received no notice); Driver v. State (1992), Ind.App., 594 N.E.2d 488, 489-90 (testimony from prior trial at which defendant did not have the opportunity for a face-to-face Criminal defendants generally have ......
  • State v. Winters, No. 49A02-9604-PC-248
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 4, 1997
    ...presumption of error also exists in cases when a bailiff communicates with the jury outside of the defendant's presence. Driver v. State, 594 N.E.2d 488, 493 (Ind.Ct.App.1992), trans. denied. To be reversible error, the bailiff's conduct must prejudice a defendant's substantial rights. Bart......
  • Lahr v. State, No. 29A02-9211-CR-00558
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 9, 1993
    ...a reasonable time. State ex rel. Brumfield v. Perry Circuit Court (1981), Ind., 426 N.E.2d 692, 694-95; Driver v. State (1992), Ind.App., 594 N.E.2d 488, 491, trans. denied. In the situation where retrial is mandated by appellate decision, the reasonable time determination involves the laps......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Burris v. State, No. 49S00-9203-DP-187
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • November 4, 1994
    ...to submit by way of an offer to prove the potential testimony of the jurors. Appellant also cites Driver v. State (1992), Ind.App., 594 N.E.2d 488 for the proposition that while jurors cannot impeach their verdicts they can testify as to what happened during deliberation. However, in that c......
  • State v. Owings, No. 32SO5-9310-CR-1194
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 29, 1993
    ...at trial); Miller, 517 N.E.2d at 74 (videotaped statement of child where defendant received no notice); Driver v. State (1992), Ind.App., 594 N.E.2d 488, 489-90 (testimony from prior trial at which defendant did not have the opportunity for a face-to-face Criminal defendants generally have ......
  • State v. Winters, No. 49A02-9604-PC-248
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 4, 1997
    ...presumption of error also exists in cases when a bailiff communicates with the jury outside of the defendant's presence. Driver v. State, 594 N.E.2d 488, 493 (Ind.Ct.App.1992), trans. denied. To be reversible error, the bailiff's conduct must prejudice a defendant's substantial rights. Bart......
  • Lahr v. State, No. 29A02-9211-CR-00558
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 9, 1993
    ...a reasonable time. State ex rel. Brumfield v. Perry Circuit Court (1981), Ind., 426 N.E.2d 692, 694-95; Driver v. State (1992), Ind.App., 594 N.E.2d 488, 491, trans. denied. In the situation where retrial is mandated by appellate decision, the reasonable time determination involves the laps......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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