from the Marion Superior Court. The Honorable Linda Brown,
Judge.Trial Court Cause No. 49G10-1509-CM-31258
Attorneys for Appellant Ruth Johnson Marion County Public
Defender Darren Bedwell Marion County Public Defender
Appellate Division Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of
Indiana Monika Prekopa Talbot Christina Pace Deputy Attorneys
General Indianapolis, Indiana
On September 2, 2015, eighteen-year-old Appellant-Defendant
Jordan Jacobs was arrested after he was found to be in
possession of a handgun without having a license for said
handgun. Appellee-Plaintiff the State of Indiana ("the
State") subsequently charged Jacobs with Class A
misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license. Following a
bench trial, Jacobs was found guilty as charged. Jacobs
challenges his conviction on appeal, arguing that the trial
court abused its discretion in admitting the handgun into
evidence at trial. We affirm.
and Procedural History
In late-August or early-September of 2015, Indianapolis
Metropolitan Police Officer Terry Smith, a detective assigned
to investigate potential gang activity, received a complaint
from the district commander that there had been multiple runs
to the Blackburn Terrace Apartments on East 30th
Street because of shots fired by juveniles who wore red
clothing and were possible gang members. The Blackburn
Terrace Apartments are located in an area which is known to
be a high-crime neighborhood. After receiving the complaint
from the district commander, Officer Smith went to the
Blackburn Terrace Apartments during school hours at
approximately 2:00 p.m. on September 2, 2015. Officer Smith
observed a group of individuals, many of whom appeared to be
juveniles of school age, gathered in a park located just
south of the apartment complex. Officer Smith also observed
that some of the individuals were wearing red, which Officer
Smith knew to be a gang color. Jacobs was present with the
group and at one point had a red t-shirt slung across his
Officer Smith watched the group, which was gathered around a
picnic table, for several hours. He noticed a number of
individuals come and go, including several adult males. At
some point, Officer Smith's attention was drawn to
Jacobs, whom Officer Smith believed to be a juvenile. Officer
Smith observed that when a park ranger in a marked vehicle
approached the vicinity where the group was located, Jacobs
and another individual, who also appeared to be a juvenile,
left the group and began walking west toward the apartment
complex. Officer Smith observed that Jacobs and the other
individual ended up on 30thStreet. Jacobs and the
other individual returned to the group after the park ranger
left the area. In light of his observations, including the
"coming and going" of a number of individuals, many
of whom were wearing a known gang color and that many of the
juveniles appeared to be of school age but were not in
school, Officer Smith contacted the north district and
requested that marked units be sent to assist in
"stopping" the group. Tr. p. 8.
As the marked police vehicles began approaching from the
east, Jacobs and the other individual again began to quickly
walk away from the group, again heading west. As the police
came closer, Jacobs and the other individual picked up their
pace. Officer Smith, who was wearing a vest reading
"police" on the front, instructed Jacobs and the
other individual to stop. Tr. p. 9. The other individual
complied with Officer Smith's instruction and stopped,
but Jacobs continued walking.
After Jacobs failed to comply with Officer Smith's
instruction to stop, Officer Smith and Indianapolis
Metropolitan Police Officer Jeremiah Casavan ordered Jacobs
to the ground. Jacobs complied with this order. Jacobs was
placed in handcuffs but told that he was not under arrest.
Officers Smith and Casavan escorted Jacobs and the other
individual to the park shelter where the other members of the
group were gathered.
As Officer Casavan was escorting Jacobs to the park shelters,
he looked at Jacobs's clothing and observed the outline
of a handgun in Jacobs's front right pocket. Officer
Casavan asked Jacobs whether he had any weapons on him.
Jacobs responded that he did not. Officer Casavan then
reached inside Jacobs's pocket and removed the handgun.
Jacobs was thereafter placed under arrest.
On September 13, 2015, the State charged Jacobs with Class A
misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license. The trial
court conducted a bench trial on November 10, 2015. During
trial, the State sought to admit the handgun into evidence.
Jacobs objected to admission of the handgun, arguing that it
was recovered in violation of both the Fourth Amendment to
the United States Constitution ("Fourth Amendment")
and Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution
("Article I, Section 11"). The trial court admitted
the handgun into evidence over Jacobs's objection. The
State also presented evidence at trial that Jacobs did not
have a license to carry the handgun. The trial court took the
matter under advisement, after which it found Jacobs guilty
as charged. The trial court subsequently sentenced Jacobs to
a term of 365 days with 357 of those days suspended to
Jacobs contends that the trial court abused its discretion in
admitting the handgun into evidence at trial because the
handgun was recovered in violation of Jacob's rights
under the Fourth Amendment and Article I, Section 11.
Standard of Review
994 N.E.2d 252
Kelly v. State
Guilmette v. State, 14 N.E.3d 38, 40-41 (Ind. 2014).
Further, when reviewing a trial court's ruling on the
admissibility of evidence obtained from an allegedly illegal
search, we do not reweigh the evidence but defer to the trial
court's factual determinations unless clearly erroneous.
Hansbrough v. State, 49 N.E.3d 1112, 1114-15
(Ind.Ct.App. 2016) (citing Meredith v. State, 906
N.E.2d 867, 869 (Ind. 2009)), trans. denied.
"We view conflicting evidence most favorable to the
ruling, and we consider 'afresh any legal question of the
constitutionality of a search and seizure.'"
Id. (quoting Meredith, 906 N.E.2d at 869).
Jacobs argues that the warrantless search of his person was
conducted in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
Brigham City v.
547 U.S. 398
126 S.Ct. 1943
Arizona v. Gant
129 S.Ct. 1710
Katz v. United ...