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Murdock v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 18, 2014

DONALD MURDOCK, Appellant-Respondent,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Petitioner

APPEAL FROM THE MADISON CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Dennis D. Carroll, Judge. Cause No. 48C06-1107-FC-1358.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ANTHONY C. LAWRENCE, Anderson, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, RICHARD C. WEBSTER, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BRADFORD, Judge. PYLE, J., concurs. MATHIAS, J., dissents with opinion.

OPINION

Page 793

BRADFORD, Judge

CASE SUMMARY

Appellant-Respondent Donald Murdock was found to have violated the terms of his probation when he committed Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement after running from a police officer who had told him to stop. Murdock contends that his probation revocation cannot stand because the State failed to establish that the officer had sufficient reason to detain Murdock. Because well-established Indiana precedent holds that a person may not flee from a police officer who has told him to stop, even if the order is unlawful, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On November 7, 2011, Murdock pled guilty to Class C felony burglary and Class D felony theft. On December 19, 2011, the trial court sentenced Murdock to eight years of incarceration for burglary and eighteen months for theft, the sentences to be served concurrently, and suspended four years of the sentence to probation. Also on December 19, 2011, the trial court issued an amended sentencing order providing that Murdock would be placed in the Madison County Community Transition Program upon release from incarceration.

On April 3, 2013, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Vincent Stewart was on duty, in full uniform and driving a marked vehicle. Officer Stewart responded to a call regarding a subject fleeing another officer. Officer Stewart and others established

Page 794

a perimeter around an apartment complex. While in a vacant apartment, Officer Stewart observed Murdock running outside of the apartment. Officer Stewart gave chase, identified himself as a police officer, and ordered Murdock to stop. Murdock continued to flee. Officer Stewart caught Murdock in a creek and attempted to grab him, but Murdock shoved Officer Stewart, causing injury and pain to Officer Stewart's left knee. Officer Stewart sprayed Murdock with pepper spray and took him into custody.

On May 9, 2013, the State filed a notice of probation violation, alleging, inter alia, that on or about March 31, 2013, Murdock violated the terms of his probation bye committing Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. On June 10, 2013, the trial court held a hearing on the notice and found that he had violated the terms of his probation by committing Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. ...


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