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Hardin v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

May 29, 2019

Brian E. Hardin, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Morgan Circuit Court The Honorable Matthew G. Hanson, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 55C01-1709-F2-1851

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Glen E. Koch II Boren, Oliver & Coffey, LLP Martinsville, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Monika Prekopa Talbot Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Brown, Judge.

         [¶1] Brian E. Hardin appeals his conviction for dealing in methamphetamine as a level 2 felony. He raises one issue which we revise and restate as whether the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence obtained from a vehicle located on the premises of a residence for which a search warrant was issued. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] In September 2017, Indiana State Police Detective Joshua Allen was involved in an investigation into the finance and delivery of methamphetamine in Morgan County and surrounding counties. The main target of the investigation was Jerry Hall. Intercepted communications from a wiretap brought law enforcement's attention to Hardin.

         [¶3] On September 26, 2017, Detective Allen completed an affidavit in support of a search warrant for Hardin's residence and asserted in part:

Surveillance was able to identify Hardin going to and from [Hall's] residence. Surveillance was able to identify Hardin going to 5426 Collett Drive East Camby, Morgan County, Indiana. Hardin's vehicle was also seen parked at 5426 Collett Drive East Camby, Indiana in the early morning hours of 09.26.20117 [sic]. This officer was able to identify this vehicle as Hardin's through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Information and Hardin has been seen driving the vehicle.
On 09/25/2017, Brian Hardin had conversations with Jerry Hall in reference to dealing methamphetamine. Hardin indicated he was out dealing methamphetamine and picking up money. Hardin's cellular telephone location put him in the area of Martinsville Morgan County Indiana during this conversation.
Brian Hardin has had several intercepted telephone calls reference to him being involved in the conspiracy to deal methamphetamine with Jerry Hall.

         State's Suppression Hearing Exhibit 2.

         [¶4] The court issued a search warrant, which states in part:

You are therefore AUTHORIZED AND ORDERED, in the name of the State of Indiana, with the necessary and proper assistance, to enter into (upon) the following described residence, to-wit: single story gray sided residence, with a partial brick front, and attached garage, and partially covered front porch with the numeric 5426 attached located at 5426 Collett Drive East, Camby, Morgan County, Indiana . . . .

         State's Suppression Hearing Exhibit 1.

         [¶5] Detective Allen, Indiana State Trooper Kent William Rohlfing, Detective Matt Fleener, and Indiana State Trooper John Patrick, arrived at Hardin's residence to execute the search warrant around 11 p.m. on September 26, 2017. Officers initially cleared the residence for subjects and then began searching for evidence and found plastic bags, heat seal bags that contained a crystal substance, digital scales, syringes, and two pieces of paper consistent with what Detective Allen knew to be a "pay and owe sheet." Transcript Volume II at 118. At some point, Hardin's girlfriend arrived at the residence and indicated that Hardin was picking up food at McDonald's. Trooper Patrick and Detective Allen left in separate vehicles to attempt to locate Hardin.

         [¶6] Trooper Rohlfing observed Hardin arrive in a pickup truck and heard the garage door open at the same time as a vehicle pulled into the driveway. Trooper Rohlfing heard the door open and heard Detective Fleener identify himself as State Police and tell Hardin to show his hands. Hardin backpedaled in a quick manner, threw two McDonald's cups in the air, tripped, fell, kicked his arms and legs, and scooted along the ground. Detective Fleener "was able to get on top of [Hardin], basically in a full mount position," and Hardin continued to scream and kick. Id. at 74. Hardin eventually was able to spin to his stomach and raise himself off the ground. Trooper Rohlfing, who had injured his shoulder gaining entry to the residence, placed his foot on the back of Hardin's head and pushed him straight to the ground, stopping the fight.

         [¶7] Trooper Rohlfing called Trooper Patrick and Detective Allen to inform them that Hardin was in custody at the residence, and Trooper Patrick and Detective Allen returned to the residence. Meanwhile, other officers located approximately $327, 000 in cash and over a pound of methamphetamine in executing the search warrant on Hall's residence. Detective Allen performed a search of Hardin's vehicle and found more than 100 grams of methamphetamine in a bag underneath the driver's seat.

         [¶8] On September 28, 2017, the State charged Hardin with Count I, dealing in methamphetamine as a level 2 felony, and Count II, possession of methamphetamine as a level 3 felony. On November 2, 2017, the State alleged that Hardin was an habitual offender. On April 17, 2018, Hardin filed a motion to suppress all evidence seized in the search of his home because "the search went beyond the scope of items and areas allowed to be searched by the Search Warrant . . . and a search of the vehicle which [he] had driven to the scene was searched without probable cause or authorization by a search warrant." Appellant's Appendix Volume II at 21.

         [¶9] On July 11, 2018, the court held a hearing on Hardin's motion at which Detective Allen testified. On July 18, 2018, the court denied Hardin's motion to suppress. Specifically, the court's order found that Hardin's vehicle "rested in the driveway and was therefore on the curtilage of the residence" and that "the search warrant that only described the residence of [Hardin] authorized the search of the vehicle while it remained within the curtilage of ...

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