L.L. v. State

Citation187 N.E.3d 954 (Table)
Decision Date26 April 2022
Docket NumberCourt of Appeals Case No. 21A-JV-2188
Parties L.L., Appellant-Defendant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

187 N.E.3d 954 (Table)

L.L., Appellant-Defendant,
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

Court of Appeals Case No. 21A-JV-2188

Court of Appeals of Indiana.

FILED April 26, 2022

Attorney for Appellant: Steven Knecht, Vonderheide & Knecht, P.C., Lafayette, Indiana

Attorneys for Appellee: Theodore E. Rokita, Attorney General of Indiana, Evan Matthew Comer, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana


Brown, Judge.

[1] L.L. appeals his adjudication for committing an act that would be dangerous possession of a firearm as a class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult. L.L. raises one issue which we revise and restate as whether the court abused its discretion in admitting certain statements into evidence. We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

[2] At approximately 1:36 a.m. on July 3, 2021, Lafayette Police Officer Daniel Anthrop responded to 1911 Perdue. When Officer Anthrop arrived at the scene, six to eight officers were already present. L.L., his father, Kevin, L.L.’s stepbrother, H.S., and H.S.’s mother, Kelly, were outside and talking with police. Officer Anthrop approached L.L. and the others, and H.S. began speaking before Officer Anthrop asked any questions. Shortly after H.S. spoke, L.L. began to speak as well. Officer Anthrop noticed shell casings in the yard. He and the other officers determined there was evidence of a shooting near the residence and across the street. Officer Anthrop spoke with "the whole group" including L.L. in the presence of his parents. Transcript Volume II at 15. L.L. initially told Officer Anthrop that "they had no involvement" and they were on the porch smoking. Id. at 16. Officer Anthrop, at that point, considered L.L. and H.S. to be victims of a crime because their house had been shot at a month or two earlier. While Officer Anthrop obtained L.L.’s statement, L.L. was in the yard with his father and stepbrother. Before obtaining L.L.’s statement, Officer Anthrop did not read L.L. his Miranda rights. Officer Anthrop asked "[q]uestions about ... who shot their house ... why they would be victimized again ... and an investigation to find who was firing across the street." Id. at 25. During Officer Anthrop's investigation, there were times when he was with L.L. and his family and times when he would leave.

[3] During a protective sweep of the house, officers found Donald Gritton and Nick Thomas in the basement and placed them in handcuffs in the back of patrol vehicles because officers were "told that nobody was in the house" and had "prior experience" with Gritton and Thomas being suspects in other shootings. Id. at 18. At some point, L.L. told Officer Anthrop that he was on the porch and gunshots came from across the street. Either L.L. or H.S. told Officer Anthrop that "they heard and saw one of the rounds hit right next to ‘em," "at that point, they returned fire," "they saw a person run, get into the vehicle, the vehicle traveled westbound in that alley," H.S. continued to the street "shooting at the vehicle that ... was still shooting back at him," and L.L. stayed on the porch. Id. at 31. L.L. also told Officer Anthrop that he had a Glock 19X firearm. Officer Anthrop asked L.L. who would have done this and where the guns were, and L.L. told him that his gun was in the basement. The version of events that L.L. told Officer Anthrop differed from...

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