Monday, October 28, 2002

Ruling in police search case upheld

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld a judge's ruling that police lacked sufficient grounds to stop a man they believed was planning to make methamphetamine.

Tippecanoe County Superior Court Judge Don Johnson ruled in April that Robert G. Bulington of Attica was subjected to an unreasonable search, in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

Mr. Bulington, 24, was stopped by Lafayette police last December after he drove away from a Meijer store. Officers suspected he had bought ingredients needed for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

But in a 2-1 vote last week, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Johnson's ruling granting Mr. Bulington's motion to suppress evidence collected during the search.

Judges Carr L. Darden and James S. Kirsch agreed with Judge Johnson that Lafayette patrolman Scott McCoy lacked reasonable suspicion when he detained Mr. Bulington and asked for permission to search his vehicle.

That search turned up evidence Mr. Bulington and his companion were accumulating materials to manufacture meth.

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