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Hudson v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

July 11, 2019

Joseph C. Hudson, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Gibson Circuit Court The Honorable Jeffrey F. Meade, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 26C01-1605-F5-449

          Attorney for Appellant John Andrew Goodridge Evansville, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Chandra K. Hein Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          RILEY, JUDGE.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellant-Defendant, Joseph C. Hudson (Hudson), appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress certain evidence.

         [¶2] We affirm. ISSUES

          [¶3] Hudson raises two issues in this interlocutory appeal, which we restate as:

(1) Whether the trial court properly denied Hudson's motion to suppress his statements made prior to being given Miranda warnings; and
(2) Whether the trial court properly denied Hudson's motion to suppress the evidence discovered pursuant to a warrantless search of his vehicle.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         [¶4] On April 29, 2016, Officer Jason B. Wright of the Owensville Police Department (Officer Wright) was dispatched to 205 North Scott Street in Owensville, Indiana, on a report of a domestic disturbance. Officer Wright was informed that the ex-husband, later identified as Hudson, was on the scene and possibly had a handgun. When Officer Wright arrived, he saw Hudson, Caligaro Sparacino (Sparacino), and Sparacino's son standing next to a black Dodge pick-up. Officer Wright placed Hudson in handcuffs and put him in the back of his patrol car.

         [¶5] After placing Hudson in the backseat of the police vehicle, Officer Wright "asked him what was going on this evening and where the gun was at." (Transcript p. 6). Hudson responded that "he didn't know anything about a gun, and then he told [the officer] that [he] and his ex-wife got in an argument. Then the daughter stepped in." (Tr. p. 6). Returning to the other people on the scene, Officer Wright spoke with Sparacino. Sparacino informed him that Hudson wanted help loading a brake press. While Sparacino was helping Hudson, an argument broke out between Hudson and his ex-wife, "and the daughter stepped in between them. Then [Hudson] knocked the daughter down." (Tr. p. 7). Sparacino explained that he tried to break up the parties, and he was briefly successful when Hudson returned to his truck. Hudson's daughter confirmed Sparacino's version of the event and added that "her dad hit her in the face and knocked her down." (Tr. p. 27). She advised the officer that after Sparacino interfered, she saw her father return to the truck and get a gun. "She watched him walk to the front of the truck and cock the gun." (Tr. p. 27).

         [¶6] Based on Hudson's daughter's disclosure and his own safety concerns, Officer Wright searched the truck and "found an empty holster on the driver side seat." (Tr. p. 16). Officer Wright returned to his police vehicle to speak with Hudson again. Officer Wright "still didn't locate a gun, [but] [he] knew there was a gun somewhere. [He] just didn't know where it was at." (Tr. p. 17). Officer Wright told Hudson that he had found a gun holster and gave him Miranda warnings. He then asked Hudson "why he got the handgun out. And ...


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