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Littrell v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

August 21, 2014

JAMES S. LITTRELL, Appellant-Defendant,
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 647

APPEAL FROM THE TIPPECANOE CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Donald L. Daniel, Judge. Cause No. 79C01-1307-FB-8.


ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana, JUSTIN F. ROEBEL, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

BAKER, Judge. KIRSCH, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.


Page 648

BAKER, Judge

James Littrell appeals his conviction for possession of cocaine as a class B felony,[1] claiming that the trial court violated his right to a fast and speedy trial when his trial was scheduled 112 days after the State's petition for an extension under Criminal Rule 4(D) was granted. Littrell also contends that the State's evidence is insufficient to show possession because the cocaine was found inside the shorts of another passenger. Finally, Littrell argues that his aggregate sentence of twenty-five years is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and his character. Finding that his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated, that the evidence is sufficient to support his conviction for possession of cocaine, and that his sentence is not inappropriate, we affirm the judgment of the trial court; however, we remand to the trial court for the sole purpose of correcting a typographical error in the guilty plea and sentencing orders.


On June 25, 2013, Officer James Knogge of the Dayton Police Department was patrolling State Road 38 when he observed a white minivan traveling above the speed limit. The officer followed the vehicle, intending to make a traffic stop, when he saw the vehicle make a wide turn and almost hit a stop sign. Office Knogge then observed an " abundance of movement" between the driver of the vehicle and the passenger in the front seat. Tr. p. 153-54. The minivan drove another block and then turned without coming to a complete stop. Officer Knogge turned on his lights and siren to perform a traffic stop. He also radioed for backup, and Officer Robert Hainje was dispatched to the scene.

During the stop, Officer Knogge determined that the driver of the vehicle, Littrell, was driving with a suspended license. He observed that Littrell's pupils were dilated and his responses were slow and sluggish. The front seat passenger, Jackie Rumler, appeared " fidgety" and " very hysterical." Tr. p. 99, 153-54, 156. The officers separated Littrell and Rumler. Littrell informed Officer Knogge that Rumler had drugs in her shorts. When questioned, Rumler produced a bag containing an off-white substance from her waistband.

Page 649

The bag was later confirmed to weigh 1.48 grams and contain cocaine.

After the drugs were discovered, Littrell informed the officers that Rumler had purchased the drugs. Littrell claimed that Rumler always had the drugs and that he " told her [to] stick [the drugs] in [her] fucking bra or [her] pussy, don't get caught, I'm driving." Ex. 8. Littrell admitted to using the drugs a day earlier, but claimed that he was not intoxicated other than by prescription medication. After his arrest, Littrell submitted to a drug test, which indicated the presence of cocaine. The State's intention was to get a DNA sample from Littrell and compare it with any substances found on the baggy containing the recovered drugs. However, Littrell stated that his DNA would be on the baggy because he had shared it with Rumler, handled it, and " used some of the substance from it." Tr. p. 137.

The State charged Littrell with possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school, battery, resisting law enforcement, operating a vehicle while having a schedule I or II controlled substance in the body, driving while suspended, and two counts of intimidation. The State also alleged he was an habitual offender.

On July 8, 2013, the trial court received a letter from Littrell requesting a speedy trial. The trial court did not set a trial date at that time, and on July 15 and August 9, 2013, Littrell reaffirmed his request for a speedy trial. On August 13, 2013, the State filed a motion applying for an extension of a speedy trial pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 4(D) in order to have the results of a blood test available for trial. The trial court granted the State's motion, and a jury trial was set for December 3, 2013. Thus, the trial date was set for 112 days after the extension was granted and 152 days after Littrell's original request ...

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