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Boylls v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 11, 2014

RICHARD BOYLLS, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff

Editorial Note:

These opinions are not precedents and cannot be cited or relied upon unless used when establishing res judicata or collateral estoppel or in actions between the same party. Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 65(D).

APPEAL FROM THE VANDERBURGH SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Robert J. Pigman, Judge. Cause No.82D02-1208-FB-889.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: JESSE R. POAG, Newburgh, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; ANGELA N. SANCHEZ, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

CRONE, Judge. BAKER, J., and NAJAM, J., concur.

OPINION

CRONE, Judge.

Richard Boylls appeals his conviction for class B felony dealing in methamphetamine.[1] The sole issue presented for our review is whether the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted evidence obtained during a warrantless search of Boylls's house. Finding no abuse of discretion, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

On August 3, 2012, Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Patterson was on routine patrol on Big Cynthiana Road in Evansville. His windows were cracked open, and as he drove through an intersection, he detected a strong chemical odor. He turned his police vehicle around, drove back to the area, and summoned another officer, Deputy Tony Toopes, to the scene. Deputy Toopes also detected the strong chemical odor. Based upon their training and experience, both officers recognized the odor as that associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. The two deputies parked their police vehicles and set out on foot to investigate the source of the odor.

The deputies determined that the odor was emanating from Boylls's house. Boylls's small house was located approximately forty to forty-five feet from his aunt's larger home on the same property. The deputies observed lights on in Boylls's house and heard voices of what they believed could be two to four people inside. The chemical odor emanating from the house was " really, really pungent" and " overwhelmingly strong." Tr. at 128-29. Sounds and smells coming from the home were especially prominent due to the " large inch to two and a half inch gaps" between the windows and the window frames of the house. Id. at 131.

Deputy Toopes knocked on the front door of the house, identified himself, and asked Boylls to come outside. Boylls responded from inside the home and stated that he was not coming outside. The deputies continued to speak to Boylls from outside the house as they walked around the perimeter. Deputy Toopes observed a large open trash can outside the back door. He looked down inside the can and saw empty pseudoephedrine packages and other items he believed to be consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine. Other officers who arrived at the scene went to the adjacent home on the property to speak to Boylls's aunt.

Boylls continued to refuse repeated requests to exit the house. Deputy Toopes informed Boylls that officers believed that he was cooking methamphetamine inside the house and that Boylls and anyone else inside needed to come out. Boylls was very concerned about his dog and wanted reassurances that officers would not harm his dog. After an exchange that lasted " quite some time," Boylls exited the house, closing the door behind him. Id. at 133. Officers temporarily placed Boylls in handcuffs. Boylls told officers that no one else was inside the house. Because officers had earlier heard additional voices and also heard running and banging noises from inside, they continued to knock and request for any occupants to exit the house. After a few minutes, another individual, Ross Flint, exited the house. Officers then permitted Boylls's aunt to call for Boylls's dog, and the dog exited the house. Because officers were still concerned that others could be inside, they entered the house to conduct a protective sweep. Officers were inside the house for approximately four minutes and looked only in areas where a person could hide. No other individuals were found inside the house.

After exiting the house, Deputy Toopes removed Boylls's handcuffs, gave him a Miranda and Pirtle advisement of rights,[2] and asked him for consent to search the house. Boylls verbally consented and signed a written consent to search. Officers from the drug task force arrived and searched the ...


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