IN: Hot pursuit into Kentucky did not violate state constitution

Defendant was more than reasonably suspected of committing a homicide in Indiana, and police got a line on him heading to Kentucky. A vehicle matching the description of his was seen on the nearest bridge to Kentucky shortly thereafter and Indiana law enforcement pursued him to Kentucky and arrested him. His arrest in Kentucky did not violate the Fourth Amendment because there was sufficient cause. It also did not violate the state constitution which the Indiana courts will interpret more broadly. Whitt v. State, 2018 Ind. App. LEXIS 56 (Feb. 14, 2018). As to the state constitution:

P24 The officers’ degree of concern, suspicion, or knowledge that a violation had occurred was high. The officers knew that a shooting had just occurred at Crystal Beach and that the shooter was heading to Kentucky in a “gray” SUV. Within minutes, the officers spotted a dark-colored SUV accelerating across the only bridge in the area to Kentucky. The SUV was a mere mile from the shooting scene and was the only car on the bridge at the time. The officers made their way to the bridge and passed two cars, neither one of which was the SUV. The officers ultimately stopped the SUV in Kentucky, two miles from Crystal Beach. The initial intrusion, a Terry stop, was relatively minor. Whitt was later arrested once Detective Simpson confirmed that he matched the description of the shooter. Nevertheless, Whitt argues that the intrusion was “significant” because a “Kentucky resident [was] stopped in Kentucky by out-of-state law enforcement.” Appellant’s Br. p. 20. However, Whitt has not identified how the intrusion was any greater than if Kentucky officers had stopped him. Finally, Whitt concedes that the third factor, the extent of law-enforcement needs, weighs in “favor of the police[‘s] ability to investigate a shooting where the victim dies.” Id. Thus, under the totality of the circumstances, we find that the officers’ conduct was reasonable and that the stop did not violate Article 1, Section 11. Accordingly, the trial court properly admitted evidence stemming from the stop.

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