from the Marion Superior Court. Trial Court Cause No.
49G10-1601-CM-2065 The Honorable Steven J. Rubick,
Attorney for Appellant Rory Gallagher Marion County Public
Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Angela N. Sanchez Supervising Deputy Attorney
General Indianapolis, Indiana
Barteau, Senior Judge.
of the Case
Richard Bernard Sansbury appeals his convictions of carrying
a handgun without a license, a Class A misdemeanor,
driving with a suspended license with a similar infraction
within the past ten years, a Class A
misdemeanor. We reverse and remand.
Sansbury raises three issues, which we consolidate and
I. Whether the court erred in admitting evidence obtained
during a search of the vehicle Sansbury was driving.
II. Whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain
Sansbury's conviction for driving with a suspended
license with a similar infraction within the past ten years.
and Procedural History
On the evening of January 17, 2016, Detective Andrew McKalips
and Officer Mollie Johanningsmeier of the Indianapolis
Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) were on patrol in
Indianapolis. Detective McKalips was training Officer
Johanningsmeier, who was a rookie. McKalips saw a vehicle,
specifically a Pontiac Aztek, make a turn without activating
a turn signal. He also noted that one of the Aztek's
headlights was not working.
McKalips turned his car around and stopped the Aztek in an
apartment complex. The Aztek stopped near an apartment
building, one and a half to two feet from the curb. The
vehicle did not stop in a marked parking spot, but was
instead sitting by the side of a road where traffic drove
through the complex. McKalips approached the Aztek and
learned that Sansbury was the driver. Sansbury had a
passenger, Elisha Goins. Sansbury lived in the nearby
McKalips determined Sansbury did not have a valid
driver's license. Further, Sansbury was not the
Aztek's registered owner. The registered owner was
Sansbury's mother, Jorja Payton. McKalips decided to
impound the Aztek. He contacted a tow truck and requested
Next, McKalips searched the vehicle, claiming it was
necessary to inventory its contents. During the search he
found three handguns. Two were in the center console, which
was closed but not locked. McKalips found the third handgun
under a back seat, concealed under a shirt. He also saw a
clip of ammunition wedged between the driver's seat and
the center console. McKalips determined that neither Sansbury
nor Goins had a valid permit to possess guns. At that point,
the search ended, and neither McKalips nor Johanningsmeier
prepared a written inventory of the Aztek's contents.
The State charged Sansbury with possession of a handgun
without a license and driving with a suspended license with a
similar infraction within the past ten years. Sansbury filed
a motion to suppress all evidence discovered through the
search and seizure of the automobile. The trial court held an
evidentiary hearing and denied the motion at the end of the
The case was tried to the bench, and Sansbury renewed his
objection to the admission of evidence discovered during
McKalips' search. The trial court overruled his
objection. After the State ended its presentation of
evidence, Sansbury moved for involuntary dismissal. The court
adjourned the hearing to consider cases cited by Sansbury. At
a subsequent hearing, the court denied Sansbury's motion
and offered Sansbury the opportunity to present evidence.
Sansbury chose not to present any evidence. The trial court
determined Sansbury was guilty as charged and imposed a
sentence. This appeal followed.