Devon R. Granger, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Hendricks Superior Court The Honorable Stephenie
LeMay-Luken, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 32D05-1710-CM-1432
Attorney for Appellant Andrew R. Falk Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana, Lyubov Gore Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis,
of the Case
Devon Granger appeals his conviction for possession of
paraphernalia, as a Class C misdemeanor, following a bench
trial. Granger presents a single issue for our review,
namely, whether the State presented sufficient evidence to
support his conviction based upon his possession of a
grinder. We reverse.
and Procedural History
On October 18, 2017, Avon Police Department Officer Jacob
Elder saw Granger driving well over the speed limit and
initiated a traffic stop. After Officer Elder asked Granger
for his license and registration, Officer Elder saw a grinder
in the door handle area of the driver's side door.
Officer Elder recognized the grinder as something that is
used to grind marijuana into finer pieces for
"easier" consumption. Tr. at 48. Accordingly,
Officer Elder asked Granger to exit the vehicle, read him his
Miranda rights, and asked him whether there was
"anything else illegal in the vehicle."
Id. at 46. Granger responded in the negative, and
Officer Elder searched the vehicle but did not find anything
else of interest. Officer Elder found a substance that he
believed to be marijuana inside the grinder. Accordingly,
Officer Elder arrested Granger.
The State charged Granger with possession of paraphernalia,
as a Class C misdemeanor. Following a bench trial, the trial
court found him guilty as charged and entered judgment. The
court sentenced Granger to time served. This appeal ensued.
Granger contends that the State presented insufficient
evidence to support his conviction. In reviewing the
sufficiency of the evidence, we consider only the evidence
and reasonable inferences most favorable to the conviction,
neither reweighing the evidence nor reassessing witness
credibility. Griffith v. State, 59 N.E.3d 947, 958
(Ind. 2016). We will affirm the judgment unless no reasonable
fact-finder could find the defendant guilty. Id.
To prove possession of paraphernalia, as a Class C
misdemeanor, the State was required to show that Granger
knowingly or intentionally possessed an instrument, device,
or other object that he intended to use for "introducing
into [his] body a controlled substance." Ind. Code
§ 35-48-4-8.3(b)(1) (2018). Granger asserts that the
State did not present any evidence that the grinder could be
used to introduce marijuana into his body. We must agree.
Our goal in statutory interpretation is to determine the
legislature's intent, which, if the statute is
unambiguous, we do by following the plain and ordinary
meaning of the statute. E.g., Jones v.
State, 87 N.E.3d 450, 454 (Ind. 2017). Here,
Granger's conviction depends on the meaning of
"introducing" as used in the statute, and to
"introduce" is defined in relevant part as "to
put or insert into." Webster's Third New Int'l
Dictionary 1186 (2002). Thus, an instrument or device that is
used to put or insert a controlled substance into the body is
paraphernalia under the statute.
Officer Elder testified that the grinder was "a device
to grind [marijuana] down more finely so [that the person]
can consume it easier." Tr. at 48. And he agreed that
the grinder was used "in preparation of using
marijuana." Id. (emphasis added). But
there is a material distinction between possession of an
instrument or device that can only be used to prepare a
controlled substance for consumption and possession of an
instrument or device that can be used to introduce a
controlled substance into the body. Here, the evidence shows