from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable David Hooper,
Magistrate Trial Court Cause No. 49G25-1509-F6-34723.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Ruth Ann Johnson Indianapolis,
Indiana Matthew D. Anglemeyer Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Jodi Kathryn Stein Deputy Attorney General
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Defendant, Nathaniel Thrash (Thrash), appeals his
conviction for two Counts of resisting law enforcement, as a
Class A misdemeanor, and as a Level 6 felony, Ind. Code
Thrash presents three issues on appeal, which we restate as
(1) Whether the trial court abused its discretion by
admitting certain evidence;
(2) Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to
support Thrash's Level 6 felony resisting law enforcement
(3) Whether Thrash's conviction for two Counts of
resisting law enforcement violated the prohibition against
double jeopardy under the Indiana Constitution.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on September 29, 2015,
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers
Christopher Cooper (Officer Cooper) and Derek Jackson
(Officer Jackson) were dispatched to an apartment building
located at 3640 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis,
Indiana. Upon arriving, the officers encountered a woman who
identified herself as Thrash's ex-girlfriend.
Thrash's ex-girlfriend was visibly upset and she
explained to the officers that Thrash was not supposed to be
there, and she believed Thrash had a pending warrant of
arrest. Moments later, the officers made eye contact with
Thrash, and saw him run west in the common hallway and toward
the back of the building. Thrash, however, did not exit the
Thrash's ex-girlfriend allowed the officers inside the
building, and the officers pursued Thrash in the direction he
ran. When the officers reached the end of the hallway, they
observed a stairwell leading to dark hallway basement that
had numerous locked doors. While going down to the basement,
the officers had their guns drawn and flashlights on. In
addition, the officers loudly announced their presence by
stating, "POLICE!" (Transcript p. 44). While
Officer Jackson was searching the laundry room at the base of
the staircase, Officer Cooper proceeded down the narrow
hallway. There, Officer Cooper came across Thrash standing in
a dark corner. Thrash's hands were in his coat pockets.
Officer Cooper yelled several times, "[S]how me your
hands!" but Thrash did not comply. (Tr. p. 76). Upon
hearing the commotion in the back, Officer Jackson joined
Officer Cooper. Both officers ordered Thrash, on multiple
occasions to show them his hands, but Thrash did not obey
their commands. As such, Officer Cooper holstered his gun,
approached Thrash, and forcefully grabbed his right arm in an
attempt to remove Thrash's hands from his coat pocket.
Officer Jackson did the same for Thrash's left arm.
Thrash, however, flexed his muscles and jerked his arms away.
Based on Thrash's resistance, Officer Cooper effectuated
a "leg sweep, " which brought Thrash down to the
ground. (Tr. p. 79). While lying on the ground, Thrash
refused to remove his hands from underneath his body. The
officers bent over and restrained Thrash's hands. As
Officer Jackson got Thrash off the ground, he saw Officer
Cooper bent over and Officer Cooper was experiencing pain in
his back. Thrash thereafter voiced to Officer Jackson that he
was sorry for resisting arrest, and for Officer Cooper's
On September 30, 2015, the State filed an Information,
charging Thrash with Count I, resisting law enforcement, a
Level 6 felony; and Count II, resisting law enforcement, a
Class A misdemeanor. A jury trial was held on January 26,
2016. On the morning of Thrash's jury trial, the trial
court conducted a suppression hearing pursuant to
Thrash's motion to exclude the officers' hearsay
testimony regarding his ex-girlfriend's statement that
Thrash had a pending warrant of arrest. Both Officers Cooper
and Jackson testified, and reiterated the hearsay statement
over Thrash's objection. At the close of the suppression
hearing, Thrash's counsel expressed to the trial court
that he had no issue with the officers' hearsay
testimony, so long as their testimonies left out the warrant
aspect. Thrash's counsel was concerned that the
"warrant aspect" would be "too toxic, "
and was "worried the jury is going to hear that [Thrash]
has a warrant and just shut down." (Suppression Tr. p.
27). Following Thrash's argument, the trial court ruled
Now Officers, [I] need you both listen to me very carefully,
State already said what you're going to be allowed to
say. I'm going to order over the Defense objection on a
limiting instruction. When the jury is in here and you're
testifying you can say that she said she doesn't want him
here. . . .
And that she told you she thinks he has a warrant. Alright.
We can't get into her head while she's not here, so
the fact that she said he has a warrant I'm not going to
even say that that's true. So you can say that she
expressed to you that she thought he had a warrant. Okay. I
don't want to hear a word about wanted for escape. I
don't want to hear a word about anything else that she
said or I will mis-try (sic) this thing. Alright. Now this is
a pretty close call, but I'm using my discretion. State,
I'm going to order you to prepare that limiting
instruction. I'm going to order that that be given as
well. We're showing [Thrash's] objection. Don't
forget to object during trial to preserve it, Defense.
Don't forget to object during trial, too, when we get to
that point. So be very careful, [o]fficers. Because I am,
again, using my discretion under the rules of evidence to let
some things in here but it is, it is concerning. Okay.
(Suppression Tr. p. 28). After the jury was empaneled and
sworn in, Thrash's trial proceeded. Officer Cooper
testified that he had been dispatched to Thrash's
ex-girlfriend's building to investigate a disturbance
call. Officer Cooper then stated what Thrash's
ex-girlfriend had reported to him, but Thrash's counsel
interjected. During a side bar, Thrash's counsel renewed
his objection regarding what Thrash's ex-girlfriend
reported as hearsay. Upon ...