from the Hendricks Superior Court The Honorable Karen M.
Love, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 32D03-1610-JD-250
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Jeffery A. Earl Danville, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Denise A. Robinson Deputy Attorney General
K.G. appeals his adjudication as a delinquent child for
having committed acts that, if committed by an adult, would
be Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license,
 Class C misdemeanor illegal possession
of an alcoholic beverage,  and Class C misdemeanor possession of
paraphernalia.K.G. asserts the
evidence supporting his adjudications was inadmissible
because it was collected in violation of his constitutional
rights to be free of illegal search and seizure. We reverse.
and Procedural History
During the late morning of October 1, 2016, Lieutenant Robert
Paris ("Lt. Paris") of the Avon Police Department
received a dispatch regarding a suspicious male who was
approaching females in a Kroger parking lot and asking to use
their cell phones. The dispatch also stated the male had a
backpack and might be a runaway. Lt. Paris was given a
physical description of the male and, upon his arrival at the
store, saw a male who fit that description walking in front
of the store. Lt. Paris saw the male-later identified as
K.G.- was carrying two backpacks, and the lieutenant
suspected K.G. was a runaway.
Lt. Paris got out of his police car and told K.G. to stop.
Lt. Paris then asked K.G. his age and whether he was a
runaway. K.G. responded he was "almost seventeen"
and was not a runaway. (Tr. Vol. 2 at 12.) Lt. Paris then
asked who the backpacks belonged to, and K.G. reported the
backpacks belonged to someone else. When Lt. Paris asked for
that friend's name, K.G. reported "Jacob" but
could not provide Jacob's last name, address, or phone
number. (Id. at 13.) Lt. Paris then "decided to
pat [K.G.] down for [the lieutenant's] own safety."
During the pat-down, Lt. Paris "immediately located a -
what ended up being a box of ammunition in [K.G.'s] left
front pants pocket." (Id. at 14.) Lt. Paris
handcuffed K.G. and removed the ammunition from his pocket.
Lt. Paris then searched K.G.'s backpacks and found a
loaded handgun that contained the same type of ammunition
found in K.G.'s pocket, two soda bottles filled with
alcohol, and a glass pipe with burnt marijuana residue.
Thereafter, the State filed a petition alleging K.G. was a
delinquent child for committing acts that, if committed by an
adult, would have been Class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun
without a license, Class C misdemeanor illegal possession of
an alcoholic beverage, and Class C misdemeanor possession of
On October 24, 2016, the day of the fact-finding hearing,
K.G. filed a motion to suppress the evidence found during the
pat-down and search of his backpacks (i.e., the box
of ammunition, handgun, alcohol, and glass pipe). K.G.
argued, in relevant part, that Lt. Paris's search of K.G.
and his backpacks was a warrantless search in violation of
K.G.'s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment
to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 11
of the Indiana Constitution. Before the fact-finding hearing, the court
heard testimony from Lt. Paris and denied K.G.'s motion
The court continued immediately into the fact-finding
hearing, incorporated Lt. Paris's testimony from the
suppression hearing, and overruled K.G.'s renewed
objection to the ammunition, gun, alcohol, and glass pipe.
After hearing additional testimony, the juvenile court
entered true findings that K.G. was a delinquent child for
the offenses of carrying a handgun without a license, illegal
possession of an alcoholic beverage, and possession of
paraphernalia, and it ordered K.G. placed in the Indiana
Department of Correction.
K.G. argues the juvenile court abused its discretion when it
denied his motion to suppress all the evidence collected by
Lt. Paris and admitted that evidence at his delinquency
hearing. Because K.G. appeals
following his delinquency hearing, the issue on appeal is
whether the juvenile court abused its discretion by admitting
the evidence during the fact-finding hearing. See A.M. v.
State, 891 N.E.2d 146, 148 (Ind.Ct.App. 2008),
The decision whether to admit evidence falls within the sound
discretion of the trial court, and we review the decision
only for an abuse of discretion. Wilson v. State,
765 N.E.2d 1265, 1272 (Ind. 2002). An abuse of discretion
occurs when the trial court's decision is clearly against
the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before
it. Conley v. State, 972 N.E.2d 864, 871 (Ind.
2012), reh'g denied. As we conduct our review,
we may not reweigh the evidence, but we consider both the
conflicting evidence, which we accept in the light most
favorable to the trial court's decision, and any
"uncontradicted evidence to the contrary."
Pinner v. State, 74 N.E.3d 226, 229 (Ind. ...