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Brown v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 13, 2014

DETRICK L. BROWN, 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 ALLEN SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Frances C. Gull, Judge. Cause No. 02D04-1303-FC-73.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: THOMAS C. ALLEN, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, CHANDRA K. HEIN, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BRADFORD, Judge. MATHIAS, J., and PYLE, J., concur.

OPINION

BRADFORD, Judge.

On March 11, 2013, members of the Fort Wayne Police Department ("FWPD") were attempting to serve an active warrant for Appellant-Defendant Detrick L. Brown's arrest. At approximately 11:00 p.m., Officer Gary Hensler encountered Brown, who fled after observing an approaching FWPD squad car. Brown was apprehended soon thereafter. After Brown was apprehended, Sergeant Thomas Strausborger looked in the window of the vehicle that Brown had been driving and observed a handgun, in plain sight, on the floorboard in front of the front seat on the passenger side of the vehicle. The handgun was recovered after the owner of the vehicle consented to a search of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle told Sergeant Strausborger that she had given Brown permission to drive her vehicle, the handgun did not belong to her, she had never seen the handgun before, and Brown was alone when he left in her vehicle earlier in the evening.

Appellee-Plaintiff the State of Indiana charged Brown with Class C felony carrying a handgun without a license. Brown was found guilty of this charge following a jury trial. Brown now appeals, claiming that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction. Concluding that the evidence is sufficient to sustain Brown's conviction, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On March 11, 2013, members of the FWPD were attempting to serve a warrant for Brown's arrest. Officer Hensler was patrolling the area near where Antoinette Amburgey lived after receiving information that Brown would be driving Amburgey's vehicle, a maroon Ford Taurus. While the exact nature of Brown's relationship with Amburgey is unclear, it is undisputed that Brown and Amburgey have a child together.

Around 11:00 p.m., Officer Hensler encounter Brown. When Officer Hensler first observed Brown, Brown was driving Amburgey's vehicle. Officer Hensler then observed Brown park Amburgey's vehicle a few doors down and across the street from Amburgey's residence. Officer Hensler, who was parked in an unmarked vehicle two to three car lengths away from where Brown had parked Amburgey's vehicle, further observed that Brown was the sole occupant of Amburgey's vehicle.

Officer Hensler notified other members of the FWPD who were nearby of Brown's location and indicated that the others should begin to approach. When Brown observed an approaching FWPD squad car, Brown "took off running southbound." Tr. p. 58. Brown ran for a short distance before being apprehended by Officer Hensler.

Sergeant Strausborger, who was parked a block away, arrived at Amburgey's residence after Brown had been apprehended. Sergeant Strausborger looked into the window of Amburgey's vehicle and saw a handgun sitting in plain view on the floorboard of the front seat on the passenger's side of the vehicle. The handgun was removed from the vehicle after Sergeant Strausborger received Amburgey's permission to search the vehicle.[1] Amburgey told Sergeant Strausborger that she had last used her vehicle at approximately 7:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. that evening, she had granted Brown permission to use her vehicle, the handgun did not belong to her, and she "had ...


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