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Date: 01-13-2018

Case Style:

Amber Keith v. State of Indiana

COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA

Case Number: 32A01-1709-CR-2011

Judge: Melissa S. May

Court: COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA

Plaintiff's Attorney: Lee M. Stoy, Jr.
Deputy Attorney General

Defendant's Attorney: Cara Schaefer Wieneke

Description: On March 1, 2017, pursuant to her conviction for a crime about which the
record gives us no additional information, Keith was ordered to serve 180 days
on home detention. The home detention order stipulated Keith was to remain
in her home except to attend probation appointments and to have her
monitoring device maintained.
[3] Keith was fitted with the monitoring device on March 6, 2017.
Probation/Home Detention Officer Chad Koebcke instructed Keith in the use
of the monitoring anklet that includes a GPS tracking device2 and the other
conditions of home detention. When Keith left the home detention office at

1 Ind. Code § 35-44.1-3-4(c) (2014). 2 Officer Koebcke testified the monitoring unit was able to track a person with the use of GPS, to receive messages from the officers and relay those messages to the monitored person, to notify officers of unauthorized movements, and to notify officers of tampering.
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Opinion 32A01-1709-CR-2011 | January 11, 2018 Page 3 of 7

approximately 10:00 a.m., Officer Koebcke told her “to go directly home.” (Tr.
at 11.) She did not.
[4] The GPS tracking device tracked Keith going to numerous other locations prior
to going home. Around noon, Keith went home but then left again. Keith
returned to her home around 2:00 p.m. During her travels, Officer Koebcke
sent messages to her monitoring unit advising Keith to “call [her home
detention] officer immediately[.]” (Id. at 13.) She did not do so. “[A]t
approximately five o’clock (5:00) . . . the anklet lost power and died.” (Id. at
15.) Keith plugged it in “at approximately eleven (11) eleven [sic] fifteen (15)
that evening.” (Id.) During that power loss, the home detention office “could
not say for certain” where she had been. (Id.)
[5] The State charged Keith under Indiana Code section 35-44.1-3-4(c) (2014),
which states “[a] person who knowingly or intentionally fails to return to lawful
detention following temporary leave granted for a specified purpose or limited
period commits failure to return to lawful detention, a Level 6 felony.” The
trial court found Keith had been “granted temporary leave . . . to leave from the
. . . home detention office to her home and she failed to do so[;] therefore she []
committed the offense of failure to return to lawful detention[.]” (Id. at 21.)
The trial court ordered Keith to serve 180 days incarcerated, with credit for time
served.
Discussion and Decision
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Opinion 32A01-1709-CR-2011 | January 11, 2018 Page 4 of 7

[6] Keith asserts the State did not present sufficient evidence to prove she
committed escape because her home cannot be considered “lawful detention”
to which she failed to return, as required under the statutory definition of
escape. See Ind. Code § 35-44.1-3-4(c). She argues the ankle monitor, not her
home, was the lawful detention and she was not ever granted a temporary leave
from which she failed to return because she never left the ankle monitor
behind.3
[7] As Keith agrees she did not go home as ordered, but rather argues her home is
not the place of lawful detention from which the State was required to prove she
escaped, we must interpret the lawful detention statute. When faced with a
question of statutory interpretation, our review is de novo. In re M.W., 913
N.E.2d 784, 786 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009). We first decide if the statute is
ambiguous. Id. If it is not, we need not and do not interpret it, but instead
apply its plain and clear meaning. Id. If the statute is susceptible to more than
one reasonable interpretation, it is ambiguous, and we must determine the
legislature’s intent so that we can give effect to that intent. Maroney v. State, 849
N.E.2d 745, 748 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). Statutes must be read in harmony with
related statutes. St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Ctrs., Inc. v. Poland, 828 N.E.2d

3 Keith also argues she should have been charged under various other statutes that punish a violation of a home detention order rather than escape. However, as the State correctly argues, the legislature gives prosecutors the flexibility to charge a person as they see fit. See Boss v. State, 702 N.E.2d 782, 784 (Ind. Ct. Appl. 1998) (“prosecutor has broad discretion in determining what crimes to prosecute and what penalties to seek”); see also Gordon v. State, 981 N.E.2d 1215, 1220 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013) (neither the escape statute and the unauthorized absence from home detention statute are ambiguous; thus, the rule of lenity does not apply and the State is free to determine which to charge).
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Opinion 32A01-1709-CR-2011 | January 11, 2018 Page 5 of 7

396, 402 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005), trans. denied. We assume the legislature intended
statutory language to be applied in a logical manner consistent with the statute’s
underlying policy and goals. B.K.C. v. State, 781 N.E.2d 1157, 1167 (Ind. Ct.
App. 2003).
[8] Lawful detention is defined by statute as:
(1) arrest;
(2) custody following surrender in lieu of arrest;
(3) detention in a penal facility;
(4) detention in a facility for custody of persons alleged or found to be delinquent children;
(5) detention under a law authorizing civil commitment in lieu of criminal proceedings or authorizing such detention while criminal proceedings are held in abeyance;
(6) detention for extradition or deportation;
(7) placement in a community corrections program’s residential facility;
(8) electronic monitoring;
(9) custody for purposes incident to any of the above including transportation, medical diagnosis or treatment, court appearances, work, or recreation; or
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Opinion 32A01-1709-CR-2011 | January 11, 2018 Page 6 of 7

(10) any other detention for law enforcement purposes.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (a)(7) and (a)(8), the term does not include supervision of a person on probation or parole or constraint incidental to release with or without bail.
(c) The term does not include electronic monitoring through the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle under IC 35-33-5-9.
Ind. Code § 35-31.5-2-186 (2014).
[9] In Anglin v. State, 787 N.E.2d 1012 (Ind. Ct. App. 2003), trans. denied, we held
Anglin had escaped from lawful detention even when he was merely told by the
trial court to wait in the hallway to be transported to the sheriff’s department.4
We held that although Anglin was not in physical custody of a law enforcement
officer at the time he left the courthouse, the trial court’s order was sufficient to
place him in lawful detention for purposes of the statutory definition. Id. at
1017.
[10] Herein, Keith was placed on home detention, and the order placing her there
required Keith to remain in her home except to attend probation appointments
and have her monitoring device maintained. Then, after getting her monitoring
device, Keith was told to “to go directly home.” (Tr. at 11.) Keith was ordered
to be detained in her home similar to any prisoner in a formal jail or prison,

4 In Anglin, we interpreted the Indiana Code section 35-41-1-18(a)’s definition of “lawful detention.” In 2012, this statute was replaced by Indiana Code section 35-31.5-2-186, with the same language in section (a) of both versions.
Court of Appeals of Indiana | Opinion 32A01-1709-CR-2011 | January 11, 2018 Page 7 of 7

with the resulting monitoring of her actions and lack of autonomy to conduct
her affairs outside the home. See Hickman v. State, 81 N.E.3d 1083, 1086 (Ind.
Ct. App. 2017) (factors determining confinement include whether the
placement in home detention was voluntary, the “degree of freedom of
movement,” the “degree of direct supervision” by a state actor, and the “degree
of autonomy and privacy enjoyed by the person in the conduct of his everyday
life”).
[11] Contrary to her arguments, the monitoring device was not the detention from
which Keith had to flee to be guilty of escape; rather, her escape was effectuated
by being absent from her home. For the purposes of home detention, her home
was the place of lawful detention and she escaped from it first by not going
there immediately from the home detention office and second by leaving again
later in the day. See, e.g., Grabarczyk v. State, 772 N.E.2d 428, 432 (Ind. Ct. App.
2002) (a home detention order requires the person to stay at home). The trial
court found Keith had been “granted temporary leave . . . to leave from the . . .
home detention office to her home and she failed to do so[;] therefore she []
committed the offense of failure to return to lawful detention[.]” (Tr. at 21.)

Outcome: As the State provided sufficient evidence of her escape from her home, we affirm her conviction.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:

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