(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday police were within the law to confiscate guns from a Bloomington man who claimed he wanted to "avenge Lauren Spierer."
56-year-old Robert Redington was stopped and questioned by police in August 2012 after he was found on the third level of a parking garage across from Kilroy's Sports Bar in Bloomington with a loaded semi-automatic handgun in each pocket, a loaded shotgun in the trunk of his car and a digital rangefinder.
Redington told police that he had been watching people come and go from the bar all evening, in an effort to help search for missing IU student Lauren Spierer. She was last seen June 3, 2011, after leaving Kilroy's.
According to court documents, Redington told police he had visited a strip club and had paid a stripper resembling Spierer to answer questions.
According to those documents, and based upon her responses, Redington reported thinking: "Could she put up a fight? Could she do anything? Could she run? What could she do?"
After questioning Redington, he was taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. He was eventually diagnosed with a schizotypal personality disorder.
While he was being examined, police searched Redington's home and discovered 48 more weapons, including handguns, shotguns and rifles. Authorities confiscated the weapons under the "Jake Laird Law," which allows police to seize weapons from those they believe to be dangerous or suspect to have a mental illness.
The law was named for IMPD Officer Timothy "Jake" Laird, who was killed in 2004 during a firefight with a man reportedly suffering from untreated schizophrenia.
A Monroe Circuit Court judge upheld the police's decision last year, ruling that Redington was a "dangerous man who should not be allowed to possess or use guns."
In a 2-1 decision Tuesday, the Court of Appeals of Indiana reaffirmed that ruling, deciding that police had presented sufficient evidence to retain Redington's firearms. The court also ruled against Redington's claims that the "Jake Laird Law" is unconstitutional.
Redington's attorney, Guy Relford, says his client will appeal the ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court. He compared the case to the Tom Cruise movie "Minority Report," saying his client has "never been convicted or accused of a crime, and never spent a day in jail."
This is the first time the state appeals court has ruled on a case involving the "Jake Laird Law." Citing recent events nationwide, court documents show the judges characterized the case as one that "poses a question of great public interest."
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