Lampkins v. State, 18S04-9609-CR-597

CourtSupreme Court of Indiana
Citation682 N.E.2d 1268
Docket NumberNo. 18S04-9609-CR-597,18S04-9609-CR-597
PartiesGregory L. LAMPKINS, Appellant (Defendant below), v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
Decision Date27 June 1997

Page 1268

682 N.E.2d 1268
Gregory L. LAMPKINS, Appellant (Defendant below),
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff below).
No. 18S04-9609-CR-597.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
June 27, 1997.
Rehearing Granted Oct. 9, 1997.

Page 1270

Geoffrey A. Rivers, Muncie, for Appellant.

Pamela Carter, Attorney General, Randi F. Elfenbaum, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, for Appellee.


SULLIVAN, Justice.

The Court of Appeals reversed defendant Gregory Lampkins's conviction of Dealing in Cocaine, a class A felony. 1 We grant the State's petition to transfer and affirm the trial court.


On May 26, 1994, an anonymous caller informed Detective Allen Williams of the Muncie Police Department Metro Drug Task Force that defendant and another man, James Cooley, were dealing drugs in the parking lot of an establishment called the Rainbow Lounge. The informant described the vehicle, including its license plate number. A few weeks prior to this call, Williams had received other complaints that Cooley was dealing drugs in that general area. One caller did not identify herself but Williams recognized her voice as that of Cooley's girlfriend, Holly McDaniel. Williams called a confidential informant from whom he had received accurate information in the past to verify the information that McDaniel had given. The confidential informant verified McDaniel's report that defendant and Cooley appeared to be dealing drugs.

After Williams received the anonymous call on May 26, he called Officer Jay Turner with the information he received. Turner then went to the general area described by the caller where he saw the vehicle described by the caller approximately two blocks from the Rainbow Lounge parking lot. Turner pulled behind the car and verified the license plate number. He then activated his lights, but the vehicle did not stop; Turner had to cut the car off in order to stop it. After the stop, Turner and another officer approached Cooley and defendant. Cooley told Turner that the car was his and consented to Turner's search of the car. In the course of the search, the other officer found a Tylenol bottle which contained twenty-one rocks of crack cocaine under the front passenger seat in which defendant had been riding.

Defendant was charged with Dealing in Cocaine, a class A felony. 2 Defendant did not appear for his trial on July 10, 1995, and was tried in absentia. He was found guilty of dealing in cocaine and adjudicated to be an habitual offender. The trial court sentenced defendant to fifteen years for the dealing in cocaine conviction plus twenty-five years for the habitual offender enhancement. Cooley

Page 1271

was tried and convicted in the same proceeding. We affirm his conviction today in a separate opinion. Cooley v. State, 682 N.E.2d 1277 (Ind.1997).

The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and vacated defendant's conviction on the basis that there was no reasonable suspicion to justify the investigatory stop of defendant and Cooley. Lampkins v. State, 666 N.E.2d 1291 (Ind.Ct.App.1996).



An investigatory stop of a citizen by an officer does not violate that citizen's constitutional rights where the officer has a reasonably articulable suspicion of criminal activity. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 1884-85, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968); United States v. Hatch, 827 F.Supp. 536, 541 (N.D.Ind.1993). Probable cause is not necessary. Id. Just what constitutes reasonable suspicion is determined on a case by case basis. Baran v. State, 639 N.E.2d 642, 644 (Ind.1994). It is also determined by the totality of the circumstances. Hatch, 827 F.Supp. at 541; Platt v. State, 589 N.E.2d 222, 226 (Ind.1992). "If the facts known by the police at the time of the 'stop' are such that a man of reasonable caution would believe that the action taken was appropriate, the command of the fourth amendment is satisfied." Platt, 589 N.E.2d at 226 (citing Terry, 392 U.S. at 22, 88 S.Ct. at 1880-81).

The United States Supreme Court has stated that, as a general rule, an anonymous tip alone is not likely to constitute the reasonable suspicion necessary for a valid Terry stop. Alabama v. White, 496 U.S. 325, 329-30, 110 S.Ct. 2412, 2415-16, 110 L.Ed.2d 301 (1990). However, where significant aspects of the tip are corroborated by the police, a Terry stop is likely valid. Id. "Because only a small number of people are generally privy to an individual's itinerary, it is reasonable for police to believe that a person with access to such information is likely to also have access to reliable information about that individual's illegal activities. When significant aspects of the caller's predictions were verified, there was reason to believe not only that the caller was honest but also that he was well informed, at least well enough to justify the stop." Id. at 332, 110 S.Ct. at 2417.

Information provided by a known informant who has provided information in the past to the police may in some cases constitute reasonable suspicion. Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 92 S.Ct. 1921, 32 L.Ed.2d 612 (1972) (reasonable suspicion present where informant was known to officer and had previously provided information); Parker v. State, 662 N.E.2d 994, 995 (Ind.Ct.App.1996), trans. denied (reasonable suspicion present where informant was known to officer and had provided reliable information in the past). Cf. Johnson v. State, 659 N.E.2d 116, 119 (Ind.1995) ("the record reveals no reason for regarding the informant as reliable").

We agree with the trial court here that reasonable suspicion was present to justify a valid Terry stop. First, the officers received the anonymous tip with very specific information as to the car defendant and Cooley were driving as well as the license plate number. Although an anonymous tip alone likely will not constitute reasonable suspicion, White, 496 U.S. at 329-30, 110 S.Ct. at 2415-16, here there was more. The anonymous tipster gave very specific information to the officer--that the car was a brown Impala with a specific license plate number and was in a specific location--and the officer verified that this information was correct when he went to the general area described by the tipster. He identified a brown Impala with the license plate number given by the tipster and which was in the specified location.

Second, in addition to the information provided by this source, the officers had some verification of this information through two other sources with whom they had previously had contact. One source did not identify herself, but Williams recognized her voice as that of Cooley's girlfriend, McDaniel. McDaniel reported that Cooley was dealing cocaine out of his car in the area that the officers found defendant and Cooley. The other source was a confidential informant from whom one of the officers had received accurate information many times in the past.

Page 1272

This informant verified that defendant and Cooley appeared to be dealing drugs from their car. These factors together constitute the reasonable suspicion necessary to satisfy Terry.

Defendant raised a total of six issues for review at the Court of Appeals. Because the Court of Appeals found dispositive the issue of whether there was reasonable suspicion to justify the investigatory stop, the Court of Appeals did not rule on the other issues raised. Because we conclude that the investigatory stop was valid, we review the other five issues.


Defendant claims that the trial court erred in refusing to grant defendant's request to sever the trial of defendant and Cooley. We disagree with defendant and affirm the trial court's decision to deny defendant's request.

Ind.Code § 35-34-1-9 permits the joinder of defendants in a single prosecution under the circumstances present here. However, Ind.Code § 35-34-1-11(b) permits a defendant to move for a separate trial. Implicated here is that part of the statute which requires the court to order a separate trial:

whenever the court determines that a separate trial is necessary to protect a defendant's right to a speedy trial or is appropriate to promote a fair determination of the guilt or innocence of a defendant.

It is within the trial court's discretion to grant or deny a motion for separate trials. Gordon v. State, 609 N.E.2d 1085, 1088 (Ind.1993); Underwood v. State, 535 N.E.2d 507, 514 (Ind.1989). A trial court is required, however, to grant severance where the parties' defenses are mutually antagonistic and acceptance of one party's defense precludes the acquittal of the other. Underwood, 535 N.E.2d at 514. "On review, consideration is given to events which actually occurred at trial and not allegations in the motion for severance." Hopper v. State, 539 N.E.2d 944, 947 (Ind.1989) (citing Parr v. State, 504 N.E.2d 1014, 1017 (Ind.1987)). See also Averhart v. State, 470 N.E.2d 666, 680 (Ind.1984) ("The soundness of the trial court's discretion is measured by what actually transpired at trial...." ). A defendant is not entitled to a separate trial merely because a codefendant implicates that defendant. Huffman v. State, 543 N.E.2d 360, 367 (Ind.1989), overruled on other grounds by Street v. State, 567 N.E.2d 102 (Ind.1991).

In defendant's motion for severance, defendant maintained that "[i]t is believed that Cooley is maintaining that the cocaine was not his and must be Lampkins'." (R. 36.) However, at trial, Cooley did not claim that the cocaine was defendant's. In fact, at trial, Cooley stated that although the drugs were not his, he also did not see defendant possess or deal any drugs (defense counsel questioning Cooley):

Q: Did you see him [defendant] deal any drugs?

A: No, I didn't see him [defendant] dealing any drugs.

Q: Did you see him possess any drugs?

A: No, I didn't.

(R. 208-209.)

As already stated above, on review, we look at what actually happened at trial to determine the soundness of the trial court's discretion in ruling on a...

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