of Appeals Case No. 18A-CR-1730 Appeal from the Marion
Superior Court The Honorable Clayton A. Graham, Judge Trial
Court Cause No. 49G07-1704-CM-12980
Attorneys for Appellant Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Caryn N. Szyper Deputy Attorney General
Attorney for Appellee Timothy J. Burns Indianapolis, Indiana
The State appeals the trial court's order granting
Michael Bouye's motion to suppress, arguing that the
arresting officer had reasonable suspicion to stop
Bouye's vehicle. Finding that there was reasonable
suspicion, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.
On April 8, 2017, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
(IMPD) Officer Ross Jette was driving down 38th
Street in Indianapolis. At approximately 2:42 a.m., he
conducted a license plate check using the Indiana Data and
Communication System (IDACS) of a 2000 white Saturn driving
directly in front of him. The database search showed that the
license plate was registered for a different vehicle: a 2005
Jeep Renegade. Officer Jette ran the same check again to
verify his findings, and the search returned the same result.
Officer Jette then conducted a traffic stop of the white
Saturn, believing that the driver (Bouye) was improperly
operating a vehicle with a license plate belonging to a
different vehicle. Sometime during the stop, Officer Jette
discovered marijuana and noticed that Bouye was possibly
intoxicated. Appellant's App. Vol. II p. 14-16. Officer
Jette arrested Bouye.
Later that day, the State charged Bouye with one count of
Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, one count of
Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated,
and one count of Class C misdemeanor operating a motor
vehicle with an A.C.E. of .08 or more. Bouye moved to
suppress the evidence, alleging that Officer Jette did not
have reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle and that all
evidence attained from the stop should be excluded.
At the June 26, 2018, suppression hearing, Bouye's wife
testified that she was the owner of the 2000 white Saturn
that Bouye was driving on the night of the incident. She also
testified that she purchased the vehicle on March 1, 2017,
and that one day later, she registered the vehicle with the
Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). After selling her 2005 Jeep
Renegade, she transferred its license plate to the
couple's 2000 white Saturn and re-registered the plate
with the BMV as well. Bouye's wife presented the
registration receipt to prove that the 2005 Jeep Renegade
plate was properly registered with the 2000 white Saturn on
March 2, 2017, more than one month before Bouye's arrest.
The trial court granted Bouye's motion to suppress all
evidence obtained as a result of the stop, holding that there
was a "breakdown somewhere" that misled Officer
Jette and that he did not have a reasonable suspicion to stop
the vehicle. Tr. Vol. II p. 22-23. The State now appeals.
On appeal, the State argues that the motion to suppress
should be reversed, claiming that Officer Jette had the
reasonable suspicion necessary to stop Bouye's vehicle.
The State is appealing from a negative judgment,
it has the burden to show that the trial court's ruling
on the suppression motion was contrary to law. State v.
Brown, 70 N.E.3d 331, 335 (Ind. 2017). We will reverse
this negative judgment only if the evidence points to a
conclusion opposite that reached by the trial court.
State v. Moriarity, 832 N.E.2d 555, 557-58
(Ind.Ct.App. 2005). We review the trial court's