from the St. Joseph Superior Court The Honorable Elizabeth C.
Hurley, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 71D08-1702-F3-11
Attorney for Appellant Troy D. Warner Deputy Public Defender
South Bend, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Tyler G. Banks Deputy Attorney General
Shepard, Senior Judge.
James Morrison claims his convictions of both resisting law
enforcement while operating a vehicle in a manner that causes
death and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in
the body causing serious bodily injury violate his right
against double jeopardy. Concluding that his rights were not
violated, we affirm.
and Procedural History
In February 2017, a police officer observed a vehicle he
believed was recently stolen. After using the plate number to
confirm this belief, the officer attempted to stop the
vehicle. The driver of the vehicle, who was later identified
as Morrison, accelerated and refused to stop for the officer.
Morrison disregarded a red traffic light and collided with a
pick-up truck, killing its driver. Morrison's three
passengers were also severely injured. The collision involved
four other vehicles that were struck by either the stolen
vehicle, the pick-up truck, or debris. Morrison admitted to
medical personnel that he had used heroin earlier in the day,
which was later confirmed by a blood test.
Morrison was charged with Count I resisting law enforcement
while operating a vehicle in a manner that causes death, a
Level 3 felony; Count II operating a vehicle with a
controlled substance in the blood causing death, a Level 4
felony; and Counts III-V operating a vehicle with
a controlled substance in the body causing serious bodily
injury, all as Level 6 felonies. Pursuant to a plea
agreement, he pleaded guilty to all the charges. The plea
agreement also reserved Morrison's "right to appeal
his sentence regarding double jeopardy issues that may be
directly related to issues raised by" this Court's
decision in Edmonds v. State, 86 N.E.3d 414
(Ind.Ct.App. 2017), trans. granted. Appellant's
App. Vol. 2, p. 37.
Pursuant to the parties' agreement, sentencing was left
to the court's discretion. The court entered judgment on
all counts but did so on the lesser-included offense of
operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class A
misdemeanor for Count II. The court sentenced Morrison to
sixteen years on Count I and twelve months on Count II, to be
served concurrently, and to thirty months each on Counts
III-V, to be served consecutively to each other as well as
consecutively to Counts I and II. The total is thus
twenty-three and one-half years.
Morrison presents one issue: whether his convictions violate
Morrison contends that, in light of our Supreme Court's
decision in Edmonds v. State, 100 N.E.3d 258 (Ind.
2018), his convictions of (1) resisting law enforcement while
operating a vehicle in a manner that causes death, and (2)
operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the body
causing serious bodily injury constitute a statutory
double jeopardy violation.
In Edmonds, the defendant's convictions included
one count of felony resisting law enforcement by fleeing in a
vehicle causing death and two counts of felony resisting law
enforcement by fleeing in a vehicle causing serious bodily
injury. The Supreme Court held that Indiana Code section
35-44.1-3-1, which makes resisting law enforcement unlawful,
authorizes only one felony conviction where a single act of
resisting law enforcement ...