from the Bartholomew Superior Court The Honorable Kathleen
Tighe Coriden, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 03D02-1702-CM-902
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Heather M. Schuh-Ogle Thomasson,
Thomasson, Long & Guthrie, P.C. Columbus, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana James B. Martin Deputy Attorney General
In this interlocutory appeal, Ashley Reid appeals the trial
court's order denying her motion to suppress evidence.
Reid raises two issues which we consolidate and restate as
whether the trial court erred in denying her motion to
suppress. We affirm and remand for further
and Procedural History
On February 15, 2017, the State charged Reid with: Count I,
operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person as
a class A misdemeanor; and Count II, operating a vehicle with
an ACE of .15 or more as a class A misdemeanor.
On October 30, 2017, Reid filed a motion to suppress all oral
and written communications, confessions, statements, or
admissions alleged to have been made by her, as well as any
test results arising from a July 29, 2016 incident. It stated
in part that Officer James Paris of the Columbus Police
Department responded to a report of a possible intoxicated
driver at a West Ridge residence, that "[u]pon arriving,
Officer Paris immediately began questioning Ms. Reid and
giving her directives" and "subjected her to
coercive and accusatory questioning," and that, without
Reid's statements, he "lacked probable cause to
request field sobriety tests, a chemical test, or a warrant
for a blood draw." Appellant's Appendix Volume II at
34. It also stated:
There was little to no elapsed time between the unlawful
search and seizure and the acquisition of the evidence, and
there were no intervening circumstances. After questioning
[Reid] with no advisement of her Miranda rights,
Officer Paris immediately ordered [Reid] to perform field
sobriety tests, and immediately following those, read her the
"implied consent" law. When she declined, he
immediately requested a warrant.
Id. at 35.
On December 4, 2017, the trial court conducted an evidentiary
hearing on the motion, at which it heard the testimony of
Officer Paris and admitted and played, as State's Exhibit
1, his body camera recording from the July 29, 2016 incident.
Officer Paris testified that he was dispatched at 2:09 a.m.
"as a possible intoxicated driver or disturbed
(garbled)," and that:
I can't remember exact terminology dispatch used. A
caller, a Stanley Reid, stated that he had heard a loud noise
outside his residence, looked outside and saw his wife,
[Reid], staggering in the driveway. Dispatch relayed that he
wasn't sure what the noise was but believed she struck
something with her vehicle.
Transcript at 5-6. He stated that he proceeded to the scene
without his lights or sirens activated, and saw two women in
the driveway along with a vehicle with damage to the rear
passenger-side bumper and a flat front passenger-side tire
with its rubber "shredded around the wheel."
Id. at 8. He testified that one of the individuals
identified herself as Reid and that he "[i]mmediately noticed
that she was intoxicated. She was unsteady on her feet, had
blood shot [sic] eyes, [and] had a strong odor of alcoholic
beverage about her person," which "became stronger
as she spoke . . . ." Id. at 6-7. His body
camera recording indicates that he made contact with the two
women, that they stated "that was not us" when he
informed them of a "call of a possible traffic accident
up here . . . a vehicle struck another vehicle," and
that, after Reid identified herself, she answered
affirmatively when asked "is this your vehicle" and
"did you just get home." State's Exhibit 1 at
When questioned about his subsequent conversation with Reid,
Officer Paris stated:
I had her step to the rear of the vehicle where the damage
was so I could speak to her and then reference the
damage. Inquired what she had struck with the
vehicle, an open ended what did you hit I believe was the
question. She denied having struck anything. I referenced the
damage. She said it was old damage that it happened at
Walmart and that it did not happen, that it had been there
for some time.
Transcript at 8. He indicated that he did not believe
Reid's explanation and stated "it's a plastic
type bumper and there was a hole in it, it was cracked,
dented in, and it appeared to be extremely fresh. It was
clean, no dust or dirt on it." Id. at 7. He
stated "[o]h yes absolutely I can" when asked if,
based on his experience, he was confident in his ability to
look "at damage to tell if it's fresh or old . . .
." Id. When asked if Reid had stated she had
driven the vehicle, Officer Paris answered affirmatively and
After we had a discussion about the damage on the rear bumper
. . . I had her kind of step around to the side and pointed
out the damage to the tire and I said how did this happen? Oh
that did happen tonight I struck a curb. She said struck a
curb either at or near Circle K and that was my first
indication that she had been the operator of the vehicle when
she said I struck a curb.
Id. at 9.
Regarding the damage, the body camera recording reveals the
following conversation between Reid and Officer Paris:
Reid: It's been there.
Officer Paris: That's been there? No ma'am.
That's some brand-new damage right there.
* * * * *
Officer Paris: I've done this job for a long time -
Reid: That's fine.
Officer Paris: Okay, and I know when I'm being lied to.
Officer Paris: Okay. I'm being lied to. This vehicle has
Reid: No, that's been like that.
Officer Paris: And this vehicle has struck something
recently. Okay. Where have you been tonight?
Reid: Went uptown.
Officer Paris: Uptown? Uptown Columbus?
Reid: To the Circle-K and then I went to the bar . . . .
Yeah, but I didn't hit anything.
Officer Paris: When did that accident ...