from the Lake Superior Court Criminal Division 1, No.
45G01-1412-F5-41 The Honorable Salvador Vasquez, Judge
Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Kristin A. Mulholland Office of the
Public Defender Crown Point, Indiana Mark A. Bates
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Katherine M. Cooper Andrew A. Kobe Deputy
Attorneys General Indianapolis, Indiana
Harris and his girlfriend, Summer Snow, separately appeal
their convictions for battery against a public safety
official and resisting law enforcement. They each challenge
the admission of Snow's gun at their joint trial, arguing
that it was not relevant and that its unfair prejudice made
it inadmissible. For the reasons given in Snow's
case-issued today as a companion opinion-the trial court was
within its discretion to admit the gun. And though the gun
was not relevant to Harris's crimes, he failed to seek a
separate trial or a limiting instruction-thus waiving any
argument that the gun's admission denied him a fair
trial. We affirm his convictions.
and Procedural History
fighting with police officer Terry Peck, Reginald Harris and
Summer Snow were convicted of battery against a public safety
official and resisting law enforcement. Since we give the
full facts in today's companion opinion, Snow v.
State, No. 45S03-1703-CR-169, __N.E.3d__, slip op. at
2-4 (June 22, 2017), we summarize them here.
one November morning, Summer Snow was fighting with her
boyfriend, Reginald Harris. After she kicked him out of her
house, he went to the driveway and sat in her car. Snow tried
to kick him out of her car as well, calling the police when
he refused to leave.
Terry Peck responded, and asked Harris to step out of the
vehicle. Harris refused, so Peck tried to remove
him-resulting in a scuffle where Harris pulled Peck into the
car and hit him repeatedly. Officer Peck eventually
handcuffed Harris and locked him in the back of a patrol car.
After fighting with Snow, Officer Peck arrested her as well.
As he did so, a gun she was carrying fell, hit his knee and
boot, and landed on the ground.
State charged Harris with Level 5 felony battery against a
public safety official and Level 6 felony resisting law
enforcement. Neither Harris nor Snow was charged with a
gun-related offense. At the ensuing joint jury trial, the
same attorney represented both Snow and Harris. The State
introduced the gun into evidence over the defendants'
objection, and the jury found Harris guilty as charged.
and Snow separately appealed, challenging the gun's
admission at trial. The Court of Appeals affirmed
Harris's convictions in a split decision. Harris v.
State, 66 N.E.3d 628, 629 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016). Harris
petitioned for transfer, arguing that the Court of Appeals
incorrectly applied the defunct res gestae standard.
The State did not respond. We granted transfer, thereby
vacating the Court of Appeals opinion. Ind. Appellate Rule
trial court admitted Snow's gun over Harris and
Snow's objection; we review this evidentiary ruling for
an abuse of discretion. Zanders v. State, 73 N.E.3d
178, 181 (Ind. 2017). Harris also alleged at oral argument
that the gun's admission denied him a fair trial. Because
he waived this claim, we review it for fundamental error-an
"extremely narrow exception to the waiver rule"
where Harris bears the ...