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Gyamfi v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 4, 2014

LAWRENCE GYAMFI, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 1132

APPEAL FROM THE HANCOCK CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Richard D. Culver, Judge. Cause No. 30C01-1206-FD-912.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: RANDALL V. SORRELL, CHRISTIANNE L. BROCK, New Castle, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; MONIKA PREKOPA TALBOT, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

RILEY, Judge. ROBB, J. concurs and concurs with Bradford, J. concurring in part, concurring inresult separate opinion. BRADFORD, J. concurs in part and concurs in result with separate opinion.

OPINION

Page 1133

RILEY, Judge

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Appellant-Defendant, Lawrence Gyamfi (Gyamfi), appeals his conviction for Count I, fraud, a Class D felony, Ind. Code § 35-43-5-4(1), Count II, theft, a Class D felony, I.C. § 35-43-4-2(a), and Count III, forgery, a Class C felony, I.C. § 35-43-5-2(b)(1).

We reverse and remand.

ISSUE

Gyamfi raises three issues, one of which we find dispositive and which we restate as: Whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting certain evidence which was derivative of evidence obtained during an unlawful search and seizure.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On May 31, 2012, at 12:46 a.m. and 12:47 a.m., two charges were made to a Discover Card at the Speedway store located in Greenfield, Hancock County, Indiana (the Hancock County Transaction). The Discover Card belonged to Sarah Whitmer (Whitmer), who resides in New Holland, Pennsylvania.

That same day, at approximately 1:45 a.m., Whitestown Police Officer Nate Harves (Officer Harves) was dispatched to Love's Truck Stop in Boone County on a report that two individuals were attempting to purchase electronic tablets with a stolen credit card. After he arrived at the

Page 1134

truck stop, Officer Harves detained the individuals, who were identified as Gyamfi and David Asiedu.[1] While Gyamfi was detained, Officer Harves searched his person and vehicle and located Gyamfi's personal identification, several credit cards, and a receipt showing the Hancock County Transaction. Upon finding the receipt, Officer Harves contacted the Speedway store in Hancock County to inform it that the transaction might have involved a stolen credit card and to make a recording of the camera surveillance from around the time of the transaction.

At approximately 8:00 a.m., Officer Harves' shift ended; he informed Detective Scott Ralston of the Whitestown Police Department (Detective Ralston), of the arrest and handed him his report and further information, which contained his notes on the Hancock County Transaction. Officer Harves told Detective Ralston about the Hancock County Transaction and advised him to " check out the Speedway in Greenfield." (Transcript p. 74).

At some point between 8:00 a.m. and noon, following his conversation with Officer Harves, Detective Ralston contacted Speedway Corporate Security representative, Brian Seifert (Seifert), who pulled still shots of the Transaction from the surveillance footage. Also that same day, Detective Ralston contacted Discover Card investigator William McNally (McNally). During this conversation, McNally emailed Detective Ralston screen shots of the credit account related to the Hancock County Transaction. Following his call with Discover Card, Detective Ralston called the management at the Speedway store in Hancock County and advised them " that they might want to report a crime." (Tr. p. 32).

Still that same day, May 31, 2012, Detective Ralston contacted Detective Trent Smoll of the Hancock County Sheriff's Department (Detective Smoll) to inform him of the case he was working on in Boone County. Detective Ralston forwarded " some information" to Detective Smoll " so he could continue with a case in [Hancock County.]" (Tr. p. 32). On June 6, 2012, Detective ...


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