Ransom v. State, No. 49A04-0005-CR-199.

Docket NºNo. 49A04-0005-CR-199.
Citation741 N.E.2d 419
Case DateDecember 28, 2000
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

741 N.E.2d 419

Anthony RANSOM, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 49A04-0005-CR-199.

Court of Appeals of Indiana.

December 28, 2000.


741 N.E.2d 420
Edward R. Cardoza, Indianapolis, Indiana, Attorney for Appellant

Karen M. Freeman-Wilson, Attorney General of Indiana, Robin Hodapp-Gillman, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana, Attorneys for Appellee.

OPINION

ROBERTSON, Senior Judge.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Defendant-Appellant Anthony Ransom was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun. He brings this interlocutory appeal from the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress the handgun.

We reverse and remand.

ISSUE

The following issue is dispositive: whether the trial court erred in denying Ransom's motion to suppress the handgun on the basis that the initial stop of Ransom's vehicle was lawful and that Ransom's consent to the search of the vehicle was voluntary.

FACTS

The facts, as found by the trial court, indicate that Ransom was driving a vehicle on a narrow Indianapolis street when he encountered an approaching vehicle driven by Indianapolis Police Officer Dennis Nottingham. Because of the narrowness of the road and the presence of parked vehicles on both sides of the road, Ransom's and Officer Nottingham's vehicles could not both fit in the traveled portion of the road. As Officer Nottingham pulled his vehicle to the side of the road, Ransom put his vehicle in reverse and backed around the corner.

Officer Nottingham stopped Ransom's vehicle for "operating his vehicle in reverse." (R. 4). When Officer Nottingham asked Ransom why he was traveling in reverse, Ransom replied that he was looking for a friend's house but did not know

741 N.E.2d 421
the address. After asking for, and obtaining, Ransom's driver's license, Officer Nottingham asked as "a matter of routine" whether there were any narcotics or weapons in the vehicle. Officer Nottingham then observed that Ransom seemed nervous, did not make eye contact, and did not immediately give a verbal answer. Officer Nottingham also observed that Ransom appeared to be holding his right hand under his leg

Officer Nottingham returned to his vehicle and ascertained that Ransom's driver's license was valid. Officer Nottingham decided to search Ransom's vehicle on the assumption that Ransom was hiding a weapon, and he called for "back up" to assist him in doing so.

When a fellow Indianapolis Police Officer arrived as "back up," Officer Nottingham, his training officer, and the back up officer approached the vehicle. Officer Nottingham asked Ransom if he could search the vehicle. Upon Ransom's response of "yeah," a search was conducted, and a handgun was discovered.

Ransom was subsequently charged with carrying a handgun without a license. He filed a motion to suppress the handgun, and the trial court held a hearing thereon. The trial court concluded that the stop was lawful on the basis that "Ransom's conduct in driving in reverse around a street corner was a possible indication of reckless driving." (R. 5). The trial court also concluded that Officer Nottingham's initial questioning of Ransom concerning the presence of narcotics or weapons was unlawful on the basis of Lockett v. State, 720 N.E.2d 762 (Ind.Ct.App.1999), trans. granted.1 The trial court further concluded that the consent to the search was voluntary. Thus, although the trial court granted the motion to suppress "insofar as it relates to the responses given by Ransom to [Officer] Nottingham's question about the presence of weapons in the car[,]" the court ultimately denied the motion "with respect to the search of the vehicle, as the search was supported by independent voluntary consent from Ransom." (R. 6). Ransom now appeals the denial of his motion.

DISCUSSION AND DECISION

A trial court has broad discretion in ruling on the admissibility of evidence. Drake v. State, 655 N.E.2d 574, 575 (Ind. Ct.App.1995). We will reverse a trial court's ruling on the admissibility of evidence only when it has been shown that the trial court abused its discretion. Carter v. State, 692 N.E.2d 464, 465 (Ind.Ct. App.1997). A trial court's decision to deny a motion to suppress is reviewed as a matter of sufficiency of the evidence. Id. Upon reviewing a motion to suppress, we do not reweigh the evidence or judge the credibility of witnesses but instead consider all uncontroverted evidence together with the conflicting evidence that supports the trial court's decision. Smith v. State, 543 N.E.2d 634, 637 (Ind.1989). However, unlike the typical sufficiency of the evidence case, we must also consider the uncontested evidence favorable to the defendant. Overstreet v. State, 724 N.E.2d 661, 663 (Ind.Ct.App.2000), trans. denied. We review de novo the ultimate determination of reasonable suspicion. Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 116 S.Ct. 1657, 1663, 134 L.Ed.2d 911 (1996).

A police officer may stop a vehicle when he observes a...

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40 practice notes
  • General Housewares Corp. v. National Surety Corp., No. 49A04-9906-CV-282.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 28, 2000
    ...the 10K form states, "For information concerning various environmental matters with which the Company is involved, see 741 N.E.2d 419 Note 10 to Consolidated Financial Statements on page 19 of the 1992 Stockholders Report." Record at 665. In our search of the designated materials,......
  • Meredith v. State, No. 89S04-0808-CR-430.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 28, 2009
    ...however, does not extend to an officer's mistaken belief about what constitutes a violation as a matter of law. Ransom v. State, 741 N.E.2d 419, 422 (Ind.Ct.App.2000), trans. Officer Lackey testified that he stopped the defendant's car solely because he suspected the vehicle was being opera......
  • Friend v. State, No. 84A04-0512-CR-753.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 18, 2006
    ...The voluntariness of the consent to search is to be determined by consideration of the totality of the circumstances. Ransom v. State, 741 N.E.2d 419, 423 (Ind.Ct.App.2000), trans. Indiana law on consent to search derives from Pirtle v. State, 263 Ind. 16, 323 N.E.2d 634 (1975), which held ......
  • Cannon v. State, No. 49A05-0411-CR-622.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 1, 2005
    ...this argument, we note that a trial court has broad discretion in ruling on Page 191 the admissibility of evidence. Ransom v. State, 741 N.E.2d 419, 421 (Ind.Ct.App.2000), trans. denied. We will reverse a trial court's ruling on the admissibility of evidence only when the trial court abused......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
40 cases
  • General Housewares Corp. v. National Surety Corp., No. 49A04-9906-CV-282.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 28, 2000
    ...Proceedings" the 10K form states, "For information concerning various environmental matters with which the Company is involved, see 741 N.E.2d 419 Note 10 to Consolidated Financial Statements on page 19 of the 1992 Stockholders Report." Record at 665. In our search of the designated materia......
  • Meredith v. State, No. 89S04-0808-CR-430.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 28, 2009
    ...however, does not extend to an officer's mistaken belief about what constitutes a violation as a matter of law. Ransom v. State, 741 N.E.2d 419, 422 (Ind.Ct.App.2000), trans. Officer Lackey testified that he stopped the defendant's car solely because he suspected the vehicle was being opera......
  • Friend v. State, No. 84A04-0512-CR-753.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 18, 2006
    ...The voluntariness of the consent to search is to be determined by consideration of the totality of the circumstances. Ransom v. State, 741 N.E.2d 419, 423 (Ind.Ct.App.2000), trans. Indiana law on consent to search derives from Pirtle v. State, 263 Ind. 16, 323 N.E.2d 634 (1975), which held ......
  • Cannon v. State, No. 49A05-0411-CR-622.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 1, 2005
    ...this argument, we note that a trial court has broad discretion in ruling on Page 191 the admissibility of evidence. Ransom v. State, 741 N.E.2d 419, 421 (Ind.Ct.App.2000), trans. denied. We will reverse a trial court's ruling on the admissibility of evidence only when the trial court abused......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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