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Easler v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 8, 2019

Tracie Easler, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Peggy Ryan Hart, Pro Tempore Trial Court Cause No. 49G10-1707-CM-25008

          Attorney for Appellant Talisha Griffin Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Caryn N. Szyper Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          RILEY, JUDGE.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellant-Defendant, Tracie Easler (Easler), appeals her conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, as a Class A misdemeanor, Ind. Code § 9-30-5-2(a)&(b).

         [¶2] We affirm.

         ISSUES

         [¶3] Easler presents this court with two issues on appeal, which we restate as:

(1) Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it failed to grant Easler's request to question a member of the venire after the member divulged information relevant for the voir dire; and
(2) Whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying Easler's request to remove a juror for cause.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         [¶4] Around 3:00 p.m. on July 6, 2017, emergency medical services (EMS) and firefighters were dispatched to 38th Street and Shadeland on a report of an unconscious person behind the wheel of an SUV. When the first responders arrived at the scene, they found the vehicle still running and in gear as it sat in the turn lane. The driver, later identified as Easler, had her head down and hands in her lap. Easler remained unresponsive as EMS personnel knocked on the window and yelled. While they were trying to gain Easler's attention, the SUV started to roll into the intersection of 38th and Shadeland. Firefighters quickly reacted and broke the driver's side window; they reached inside the vehicle and shifted it into park. Easler regained consciousness and EMS personnel helped her out of the vehicle.

         [¶5] Officer Eric Rosenbaum (Officer Rosenbaum) of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department consulted with the EMS personnel and was advised that Easler might be impaired. When speaking with Easler, Officer Rosenbaum learned that she had just left a funeral and was on her way home. She informed the officer that she was having a rough week and had consumed two shots earlier that day. While Officer Rosenbaum was speaking with Easler, he noticed Easler's speech was slurred and there was a delay in her responses to his questions. He observed that she had glassy, red eyes. Believing Easler to be under the influence of alcohol, Officer Rosenbaum contacted a DUI officer.

         [¶6] Officer Nickolas Smith (Officer Smith), after noticing Easler swaying back and forth, administered three field sobriety tests. Easler failed all three tests. Easler consented to a blood draw, and forensic testing of her blood revealed that she had a ...


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