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State v. Fahringer

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 12, 2019

State of Indiana, Appellant-Plaintiff,
v.
Luke Bryon Fahringer, Appellee-Defendant.

          Appeal from the Tippecanoe Superior Court The Honorable Randy Williams, Judge, Trial Court Cause No. 79D01-1610-F3-39

          Attorneys for Appellant Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana.

          Justin F. Roebel Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana Attorneys for Appellee Jonathan A. Bont Thomas D. Perkins Mackenzie E. Skalski Paganelli Law Group Indianapolis, Indiana.

          Riley, Judge.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellant-Plaintiff, State of Indiana (the State), brings this interlocutory appeal of the trial court's Suppression Order.

         [¶2] We dismiss.

         ISSUE

         [¶3] Although the State presents us with two issues on appeal, Appellee-Defendant, Luke Fahringer (Fahringer), filed a motion to dismiss the instant appeal in which he presented one issue, which we find dispositive and restate as: Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it certified its Suppression Order for interlocutory appeal.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         [¶4] On November 19, 2015, a detective with the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department took a statement from an alleged victim, C.B., who reported that two men, whom she identified from a photographic array as Fahringer and Henry Williams (Williams), had taken her against her will and forced her to submit to a number of sexual acts. These forced sexual acts reportedly took place at a home on Rockingham Lane in Lafayette, Indiana, and in Fahringer's truck. C.B. also reported that Fahringer used a cell phone to photograph C.B.'s identification card and threatened to kill her family if she reported the offenses.

         [¶5] Later that morning, investigators applied for a search warrant for the home on Rockingham Lane, Fahringer's truck, Fahringer and Williams' cell phones, and to take DNA samples from Fahringer and Williams. After the search warrant application had been submitted but before the warrant was granted, at approximately 10:30 a.m., investigators encountered Fahringer outside of the home on Rockingham Lane. Fahringer had his cell phone in his possession. Fahringer was not under arrest and was free to leave; however, the investigators informed Fahringer that they had applied for a search warrant and wished to take custody of his cell phone. Fahringer was allowed to use his cell phone to access telephone numbers and contact his attorney before surrendering it. The search warrant was issued at approximately 11:50 a.m., and a search of Fahringer's cell phone revealed a photograph of C.B.'s identification card.

         [¶6] On October 14, 2016, the State filed an Information, charging Fahringer with strangulation, intimidation, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit rape, two Counts of criminal confinement, and three Counts of rape. On July 6, 2018, Fahringer filed a motion seeking to suppress evidence garnered following the warrantless seizure of his cell phone, which he argued was unreasonable under our federal and state Constitutions.[1] On July 9, 2018, after the selection of a jury but before the jury was sworn, the trial court held a hearing on the suppression motion. Fahringer's trial was postponed.

         [¶7] On July 12, 2018, the State filed its Motion for Time Extension Regarding Interlocutory ...


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