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Taylor v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

January 17, 2017

Edward Taylor, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

         Appeal from the Hendricks Superior Court The Honorable Stephanie LeMay-Luken, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 32D05-1603-F5-31

          Attorney for Appellant Scott Knierim

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Jodi Kathryn Stein

          Robb, Judge.

         Case Summary and Issue

         [¶1] Police encountered Edward Taylor passed out behind the wheel of his running car. Suspecting he was intoxicated, they sought a search warrant for a blood draw. Because of statutory time constraints on conducting a chemical test, a photograph of the signed search warrant was sent by email to an officer's cell phone. Taylor objected to the blood draw because the officer was unable to show him a physical copy of the search warrant and struggled with the officer before finally complying. After Taylor was charged with battery, resisting law enforcement, driving while suspended, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, he filed a motion to suppress the blood draw evidence. The trial court denied the motion but certified its order for this interlocutory appeal in which Taylor raises the sole issue of whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. Concluding the trial court did not err in denying the motion to suppress because the blood draw was conducted pursuant to a valid search warrant, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On March 18, 2016, at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, Hendricks County Sheriff's Deputy Dan Parrott approached a vehicle stopped along the road in which Taylor, the driver, appeared to be asleep or passed out. The vehicle was running and in gear and Deputy Parrott was unable to rouse the driver by knocking on the window. Deputy Parrott entered the unlocked car, put it in park, and was then able to wake Taylor, who exhibited signs of intoxication. Taylor had a suspended license and an active warrant out of Brown County, Indiana. Sergeant Jennifer Brahaum of the Avon Police Department arrived on the scene and also observed signs of intoxication in Taylor. Taylor failed two field sobriety tests and consented to a chemical test. Sergeant Brahaum transported Taylor to a local hospital for a blood draw.

         [¶3] Once at the hospital, however, Taylor refused the blood draw so Sergeant Brahaum contacted the prosecutor's office to obtain a search warrant. She submitted an affidavit of probable cause and a search warrant was signed by the court at approximately 5:15 p.m. As it was approaching three hours since Deputy Parrott first observed Taylor, [1] the prosecutor's office sent a photograph of the signed search warrant to Sergeant Brahaum's cellphone via email. Sergeant Brahaum advised Taylor she had a search warrant to proceed with the blood draw and Taylor asked to see it. When Sergeant Brahaum showed Taylor the email on her phone, he protested that he needed to see a paper copy of the search warrant. Sergeant Brahaum told Taylor a hard copy of the search warrant would be provided to him or his attorney later. Taylor then refused to cooperate with the blood draw and a scuffle ensued, during which Sergeant Brahaum's thumb was sprained and she received several scratches to her arms. Taylor finally complied and the blood draw was completed at approximately 5:20 p.m.

         [¶4] Taylor was charged with battery, a Level 5 felony, resisting law enforcement, a Level 6 felony, and driving while suspended and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, both Class A misdemeanors. Taylor filed a motion to suppress the blood draw evidence, arguing the electronic copy of the search warrant in Sergeant Brahaum's possession was insufficient to proceed with the blood draw. After a hearing which was not transcribed for this appeal, the trial court denied the motion to suppress but certified the order for interlocutory appeal. This court granted Taylor's motion for interlocutory appeal on September 8, 2016.

         Discussion and Decision

         I. Standard of Review

         [¶5] Our review of a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress is similar to our review of other sufficiency matters. Doctor v. State, 57 N.E.3d 846, 852-53 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016). The record must disclose substantial evidence of probative value supporting the trial court's decision. Id. at 853. We do not reweigh the evidence. Id. We consider conflicting evidence most favorable to the trial court's ruling, but unlike other sufficiency ...


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