Jerold W. Leatherman, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Lawrence Superior Court The Honorable William G.
Sleva, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 47D02-1703-F6-292
Attorney for Appellant Jennifer G. Schlegelmilch Lawrence
County Public Defender Agency Bedford, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Evan Matthew Comer Deputy Attorney General
Jerold W. Leatherman ("Leatherman") appeals his
convictions for maintaining a common nuisance, a Level 6
felony,  and possession of paraphernalia, as a
Class C misdemeanor.
We affirm in part and reverse in part.
Leatherman raises the following two issues:
I. Whether the State provided sufficient evidence to support
his conviction for maintaining a common nuisance.
II. Whether the State provided sufficient evidence to support
his conviction for possession of paraphernalia.
and Procedural History
February 27, 2017, Sergeant Justin Dodd ("Sgt.
Dodd") of the Bedford Police Department and Detective
Chris Roberts ("Det. Roberts") of the Lawrence
County Sheriff's Department were investigating a tip
regarding possible drug dealing and prostitution near Frank
Street in Mitchell, Indiana. While patrolling the area in an
unmarked vehicle, the two officers saw Leatherman, who was
driving a van that had been parked alongside the road, drive
a short distance to another home on nearby Meridian Street. A
man exited the house and approached Leatherman's van.
Leatherman then backed out of the driveway and parked his van
alongside the road on Frank Street.
As Det. Roberts, who was driving the officers' vehicle,
drove past Leatherman's van on the driver's side,
Leatherman opened the driver's side door and nearly
struck the officers' vehicle. Det. Roberts stopped the
vehicle and, as he approached Leatherman's vehicle, he
instructed Leatherman to "be a little more careful"
about opening his car door. Tr. Vol. II at 71-72. In
accordance with safety protocol, Sgt. Dodd also exited the
truck and approached Leatherman's van on the
passenger's side. When he crossed behind the van, Sgt.
Dodd saw Leatherman pass a small bag to the female passenger,
Heather Ditton ("Ditton"), who was sitting in the
front seat. Sgt. Dodd then saw Ditton pull out the elastic
waistband of her pants and place the baggie inside her
Sgt. Dodd knocked on the passenger window of the van and
asked Ditton, "Are you done shoving that?"
Id. at 96, 103. Ditton responded, "I'm on
my period and I don't have tampons, it's napkins[, ]
I swear." Id. at 103. Sgt. Dodd escorted Ditton
from the van and Ditton removed the bag from her vagina. Sgt.
Dodd observed that the bag contained a white crystal
substance, which was later confirmed by lab testing to be
After Ditton turned over the bag of methamphetamine to Sgt.
Dodd, Det. Roberts ordered Leatherman to exit the van. Det.
Roberts conducted a pat down of Leatherman and discovered two
syringes hidden in Leatherman's pockets. Leatherman
informed Det. Roberts that the syringes were from the
Lawrence County Needle Exchange Program in which Leatherman
participated. Det. Roberts, "a drug recognition
specialist, " saw that the syringes contained a liquid
residue and had grey caps that indicated that they were from
the needle exchange program. Tr. Vol. II at 68.
The officers placed both Leatherman and Ditton in handcuffs
and called a drug- sniffing dog to the scene. While sniffing
the perimeter of Leatherman's van, the dog gave a
positive alert for narcotics three times. The officer
conducting the dog sniff observed a syringe sitting on the
dashboard underneath a cellular phone. A subsequent search of
the vehicle revealed the presence ...