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Monday, May 2, 2016

Judge rejects motions to suppress evidence

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley has denied motions to suppress evidence in two related cases.

Zikimo Jones, 32, of Indianapolis is charged with two counts of Class B felony dealing in a controlled substance and Class D felony possession of a controlled substance. If convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to up to 43 years in prison.

His co-defendant, Almez C.D. Bentley, 30, of Detroit is facing the same charges as well as a Class D felony charge of possession of a narcotic drug. He could be sentenced to a maximum of 46 years behind bars.

Both men were arrested April 27 as the result of a traffic stop. In August, Jones' court-appointed attorney Melinda Jackman-Hanlin and Bentley's court-appointed attorney James Recker filed motions to suppress evidence, stating their clients -- both of whom are African-American -- had been the victims of racial profiling.

Bentley was driving a vehicle in which Jones was a passenger when they were stopped on I-70 by Putnam County Sheriff's Department Lt. Dwight Simmons for not having a license plate displayed, court documents said.

The motions to suppress state that as soon as Simmons approached the vehicle, he saw a valid registration plate properly displayed in the rear window of the vehicle.

Jones' and Bentley's attorneys alleged that an improper search which produced drugs was conducted on the vehicle and that their clients were questioned without being read their Miranda rights.

Both men have been at the Putnam County Jail since their arrests. Bentley's bond was set at $30,000 cash, Jones' at $20,000 cash.

Jury trials in both cases are set for Oct. 7. Recker and Jackman-Hanlin must notify the court by Sept. 21 if the cases will proceed.

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Wow, they finally got someting right!!! Now where is the apology to Lt. Simmons for all the nasty things said about him in the paper? I could hardly believe what was said in the first story you printed about this trial. To slander an Officer on the front page of a local newspaper when there is no proof is uncalled for!!! He is out there putting his life on the line taking drugs and thugs off the streets of Putnam Co. I look forward to reading the apology and I know I am not the only one who will be looking for it. I just hope the Banner has the guts to print it on the front page too!!!

-- Posted by Road Dawg on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 1:38 AM

Thank you Judge Headley for not letting the "race card" be played.

-- Posted by mad-mom on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 7:11 AM

Can you say illegal search. No warrant.. no permission .. no probable cause.. forget the race card this will be overturned on appeal.

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 7:33 AM

To Oh My Goodness...No warrant was needed, probable cause was the smell of burnt marijuana the Officers smelled when they approached the truck. The owner of the truck gave permission to search. I don't see an appeal in their future just a lot of prison time!!!

-- Posted by Road Dawg on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 7:44 AM

as soon as Simmons approached the vehicle, he saw a valid registration plate properly displayed in the rear window of the vehicle. Good stop!

probable cause was the smell of burnt marijuana another Good Reason.

I'm sure the police ask to search car, and bet the driver said ok.

trying to keep our roads safe. Why do people Always slam the police the lawyers and judges do that enough. Walk in there shoes 1 day if you can. they see hate and violence daily. Give them some slack!

-- Posted by Sand mann on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 8:41 AM

It would be helpful in evaluating Headly's decision if the reporter had included the judge's reasoning for denying the defendant's motion. To simply say, denied, just provokes more speculation rather than rational analysis.

-- Posted by David Worthington on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 10:34 AM

Having the plate in the rear window is "improper display" of one's regestration therefore is a reason for stop and ticket. Smelling Marijuana is a reason to suspect more issues in the vehicle, and last but not least when the vehicle would have been towed the State requires an impound sheet to go with the tow operator listing an inventory of items in the vehicle so either way, what was found, would have been found regardless of color or creed.

Thank you Deputy Simmons for removing these ppl off our streets and keeping them out of there respective communities and from plying there illegal trades!

-- Posted by CastlePirate on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 11:16 AM

Racial profiling? Isn't that term getting overused and old? If the Deputy did not see proper registration when he pulled them over then he had the right to pull them over. When he approached the vehicle he smelled drugs, then he had the probable cause to search the vehicle. When he found drugs then he had the reason to arrest them. Doesn't matter what color they are, this is the way anyone would be treated. Thank You Deputy Simmons and Judge Headley for putting these people behind bars and keeping them there.

-- Posted by nikkilpn on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 9:13 PM

plain and simple they broke the law....

now get ready to do the time....



-- Posted by takeastand on Wed, Sep 16, 2009, at 10:45 PM


he saw a valid registration plate properly displayed in the rear window of the vehicle. Cop was right, Thugs were wrong.close the cell and lock them in!

-- Posted by Sand mann on Thu, Sep 17, 2009, at 8:25 AM

I guess I must be blind because in the two stories about this traffic stop that the BG did there was no mention of smelling any Pot or other wise a resonable cause to search the vehicle. So given the info that BG slides us this would look like an illegal search and seizure. As for the maranda rights well the courts have been lax on that issue.. most people know their rights anyway. Obviously they did because as others said they allowed the search of a car without probable cause. I will bet that there will be an appeal in this case because a big OOOOOPS like this is usually not found by a Public defender. And it was so it must have staring them in the face. Truly i dont care one way other the other but judicial errors make judges look silly.

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Thu, Sep 17, 2009, at 12:37 PM

My god why don't you people let LT.Simmons do his job.Think if it was your loved one who incountered with this dangerous man.Simmons is a very brave man.Give him the respect he deserves.

-- Posted by ct14 on Sat, Sep 26, 2009, at 10:01 PM

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