APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Steven R. Eichholtz, Judge. Cause No. 49G20-1211-FB-76812.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: MICHAEL R. FISHER, Marion County Public Defender Agency, Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; MICHAEL GENE WORDEN, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
DARDEN, Senior Judge. ROBB, J., concurs. KIRSCH, J., dissents without opinion.
DARDEN, Senior Judge.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
After a jury trial, Shawn Blount was convicted of Class B felony possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. We reverse and remand.
Blount presents two issues, but we find one dispositive: whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting hearsay evidence.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In November 2012, Detective Terry Smith of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was in an unmarked vehicle conducting surveillance at the Best Inn at 4505 South Harding Street due to several complaints of prostitution and open air narcotics activity in the area. Shortly before 11:00 a.m., Detective Smith saw two black males exit the motel. One man was wearing a grey sweatshirt, and the other man was wearing a black hoodie. The man in the black hoodie continued down a sidewalk while the man in the grey sweatshirt waved to someone behind Detective Smith's vehicle and walked in that direction. A woman walked along the side of Detective Smith's vehicle and met up with the man in the grey sweatshirt, and the two then went down the same path as the man in the black hoodie.
Five to ten seconds later, Detective Smith heard yelling. He saw the woman and the man in the grey sweatshirt quickly walking away from a corner of the building and looking back a couple of times. He then saw the man in the black hoodie step
out with his arm extended downward at a forty-five degree angle. Detective Smith was twenty-five to thirty-five yards from the corner, and his view of the man in the black hoodie was somewhat obscured as he observed him through a chain-link fence. Further, Detective Smith saw only the outline of the man's body due to brush and weeds around the chain-link fence, but he had a clear view from the man's chest up. He saw a muzzle flash and heard a gunshot, though he did not actually see a gun.
Detective Nicholas Andrews, who was conducting surveillance just south of the parking lot at a different motel, called Detective Smith and confirmed there was a gunshot. They met up, put on their tactical vests, and ran into the motel. By that time, 911 calls had come in saying that the suspect had run into Room 150. As they approached that room, a woman Detective Smith knew as Ricky Brock exited it and ran up the stairs. The detectives found no one in Room 150.
They then followed Brock's path up the stairs, and someone directed them to Room 240. They knocked and announced themselves, and although they heard a lot of commotion in the room, no one answered the door. The detectives forced entry and found Brock, her five-year-old son, and two other females. Brock provided them with the nickname of the person she believed fired the weapon, " Big D." Her son named the same person.
The search for the suspect was unsuccessful. Detective Smith went to the location where he saw the gun being fired and recovered a ...