About this Event
200 W. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
In 2020, Alonzo Fention Thomas, III, was driving his girlfriend’s car when he got into an accident. The engine compartment caught fire, rendering the car inoperable. Thomas got out of the car with his two children. Firefighters arrived and extinguished the engine fire. When a firefighter checked the passenger compartment to make sure the fire had not spread, he saw a gun on the passenger-side floorboard. The firefighter told a police officer, who eventually recovered the gun after determining that Thomas had a felony conviction. The State charged Thomas with Level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and Thomas was convicted.
Thomas now appeals, arguing the warrantless search of the car violated his rights under Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution and therefore the gun is inadmissible. The State responds that Thomas waived this argument and that the gun was admissible as part of a valid inventory search.