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Scanland v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 19, 2019

Michael Scanland, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable John M. Christ, Magistrate Trial Court Cause No. 49G14-1801-F6-1620

          Attorneys for Appellant Valerie K. Boots Christopher Taylor-Price Marion County Public Defender Agency - Appellate Division Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Ian McLean Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Mathias, Judge.

         [¶1] Following a jury trial in Marion Superior Court, Michael Scanland ("Scanland") was convicted of Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and sentenced to forty days in jail. Scanland appeals and presents two issues, which we restate as: (1) whether the trial court abused its discretion by determining that Scanland was not subject to custodial interrogation and that the statements he made to a parole agent were therefore admissible even though Scanland was not advised of his Miranda rights; and (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence of drug paraphernalia found in Scanland's home following a search based on the statements Scanland made to the parole agent. Concluding that Scanland was not subject to custodial interrogation, we affirm.

         Statement of Facts[1]

         [¶2] Scanland was convicted of murder in 1995. He was released on parole on December 22, 2016. The terms of his parole release agreement included the following:

5. ABUSE OF ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED
SUBSTANCE - I understand that the following is a violation of my parole:
a) Being intoxicated, or
b) Using, possessing, or trafficking illegally in a controlled substance. Abuse of alcohol or drugs is not a defense for violation of the parole release agreement.
7. CRIMINAL CONDUCT - I will not engage in conduct prohibited by federal or state law or local ordinance.
9. HOME VISITATION AND SEARCH -
a) I will allow my supervising officer or other authorized officials of the Department of Correction to visit my residence and place of employment at any reasonable time.
b) I understand that I am legally in the custody of the Department of Correction and that my person and residence or property under my control may be subject to reasonable search by my supervising officer or authorized official of the Department of Correction if the officer or official has reasonable cause to believe that the parolee is violating or is in imminent danger of violating a condition to remaining on parole.

Ex. Vol., State's Ex. 1 (emphases added).

         [¶3] In January 2018, Scanland was living with his girlfriend Sandra Burrow ("Sandra") in Marion County, Indiana. Scanland and Sandra had issues with their neighbor, and the police were called to Scanland's home several times as a result. During one altercation, the neighbor, according to Scanland, threatened his life. Sandra called the police to report this, and the police investigated. Scanland later called the police himself to obtain the incident report number. The supervising officer on duty, Sgt. Stargel, told Scanland to go to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department ("IMPD") Northwest District Headquarters the following day and speak with Sgt. Grimes for assistance with mediating the dispute with his neighbor. Sgt. Stargel also advised Scanland to talk to his parole officer. Sgt. Stargel then emailed Sgt. Grimes about Scanland, an email that was later forwarded to another parole agent, Eric Vanatti ("Agent Vanatti"), who worked at the Northwest District Headquarters.

         [¶4] The day after the incident with the neighbor, Scanland and Sandra went to the Northwest District Headquarters to speak with Sgt. Grimes. Believing that they were not getting proper assistance, Scanland and Sandra became upset. From his office, Agent Vanatti heard a man shouting and a woman crying. He got up to investigate and saw Scanland and Sandra causing the disturbance. Agent Vanatti was ...


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