Jeffrey S. Morris, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
from the Knox Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
42D02-1706-CM-515 The Honorable Ryan S. Johanningsmeier,
Attorney for Appellant Mark Small Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Chandra K. Hein Deputy Attorney General
Jeffrey S. Morris appeals his conviction of Class B
misdemeanor public intoxication. Morris argues the State did
not provide sufficient evidence to support his conviction.
Because the State failed to provide evidence to demonstrate
Morris's alleged intoxication was due to "alcohol or
a controlled substance, " Indiana Code section
7.1-5-1-3, as required by the statute defining public
intoxication, we reverse.
and Procedural History
On June 14, 2017 between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m., Vincennes Police
Officer Robert Hammond was dispatched to investigate a man
wearing only underwear. Upon arrival, Officer Hammond
identified the individual as Morris. Morris was in the
roadway, wearing just underwear, sweating profusely, and
displaying signs of paranoia. Officer Hammond instructed
Morris to remain inside his house the rest of the day.
Over the course of the next four hours, Officer Hammond
responded to four more calls regarding Morris. Each time
Officer Hammond found Morris in the same condition: wearing
only underwear, sweating profusely, and acting paranoid. The
fifth time Officer Hammond responded to a call regarding
Morris, Morris was waiting in front of a house to retrieve
his bicycle. Officer Hammond arrested Morris for public
The State charged Morris with Class B misdemeanor public
intoxication. At Morris' bench trial, Officer Hammond
testified he arrested Morris based on paranoia, profuse
sweating, and previous experiences with Morris where Officer
Hammond speculated Morris had been under the influence of
bath salts. Officer Hammond testified he believed Morris was
"potentially under the influence of bath salts."
(Tr. at 8.) In its decision, the trial court stated:
I think there are two main issues here today, one is
intoxication and then the other is whether there was
breaching the peace. I'm going to find that there was
breaching the peace based on his appearance as well as the
officer's observation of his behavior. I'm also going
to find that there was intoxication based on the
officer's prior contact with, with Mr. Morris and what
the officer observed, especially paranoia and when compared
to the past contact. So I'm going to enter Guilty on the
charge of Public Intoxication as a Class B Misdemeanor.
(Id. at 26.) The trial court found Morris guilty of
Class B misdemeanor public intoxication and sentenced Morris
to 180 days, with sixty executed and one year on probation.
Morris argues the State provided insufficient evidence to
convict him of public intoxication. When considering the
sufficiency of evidence, "a reviewing court does not
reweigh the evidence or judge the credibility of the
witnesses." McHenry v. State, 820 N.E.2d 124,
126 (Ind. 2005). We must affirm "if the probative
evidence and reasonable inferences drawn from the evidence
could have allowed a reasonable trier of fact to find the
defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."
Id. at 126 (internal citation omitted).
To prove Morris committed Class B misdemeanor public
intoxication, the State had to present sufficient evidence
Morris was: (1) in a public place, (2) in a state of
intoxication from alcohol or a controlled substance, and (3)
breached the peace or was in imminent danger of doing so.
See Ind. Code § 7.1-5-1-3(a)(3) (relevant
elements of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication). Morris
does not challenge that Officer Hammond found him in a public
place. Instead, he challenges the State's proof of his
intoxication and of his breach or imminent breach of the
peace. We need address only the adequacy of the State's
proof of Morris' intoxication to reverse. See Clark