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Timothy MITCHELL, Jr., Appellant-Defendant, v. STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
 Appellant-Defendant, Timothy E. Mitchell (Mitchell), appeals his conviction and sentence for dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 3 felony, Ind. Code § 35-48-4-1.1(a)(1), and possession of methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony, I.C. § 35-48-4-6.1(a).
 We affirm.
 Mitchell presents this court with two issues on appeal, which we restate as:
(1) Whether the admission of a video recording depicting a controlled drug buy violated Mitchell's right to confront and cross-examine the witness under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and
(2) Whether Mitchell's sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and his character.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
 On July 12, 2017, Indiana State Trooper Barry Brown (Trooper Brown) consulted with two detectives and a confidential informant (CI) to arrange a controlled purchase of methamphetamine with Mitchell. In the presence of the officers, the CI made a phone call to Mitchell to set up the transaction in which Mitchell and the CI agreed to a purchase of seven grams of methamphetamine in exchange for $275. The officers provided the CI with the exact purchase amount required for the transaction, as well as audio and video recording equipment which was placed on the CI's person.
 The buy was arranged to take place at Mitchell's residence on Courtesy Drive in Clark County, Indiana. When they arrived at Mitchell's residence, Mitchell informed the CI that he did not have the methamphetamine and that he needed to travel to a residence in Louisville, Kentucky, to retrieve the drugs. Mitchell requested that Trooper Brown, who was working undercover, drive him and the CI to Louisville. Initially, all three decided that, instead of driving into Kentucky, Mitchell would use a walking bridge to cross the state line. However, when they arrived at the bridge, Mitchell insisted that the CI accompany him across the bridge. Because Trooper Brown was reluctant to have the controlled buy take place in another state, he offered to pay Mitchell's taxi fare into the city, to which Mitchell agreed.
 Upon Mitchell's return, Trooper Brown drove everyone back to Mitchell's residence. When they arrived at Mitchell's house, the CI accompanied Mitchell inside while Trooper Brown remained in his vehicle. A short time later, Mitchell and the CI returned to the car, and Mitchell apologized for the delay in obtaining the methamphetamine. He offered to provide Trooper Brown with an ounce of methamphetamine for $600 in a future transaction. Once Mitchell left, Trooper Brown conducted a debriefing session with the CI. He questioned the CI about the specifics of the transaction inside the residence. At some point during this discussion, the CI produced the methamphetamine purchased from Mitchell.
 On August 22, 2017, the State filed an Information, charging Mitchell with Level 3 felony dealing in methamphetamine and Level 5 felony possession of methamphetamine. In addition to these charges, the State also filed a notice of intent to seek an habitual offender sentencing enhancement against Mitchell. Prior to Mitchell's trial, investigators made several attempts to locate the CI who had conducted the controlled buy. These efforts included contacting the CI at multiple residences and multiple places of work with which he had previously been associated. None of these attempts were successful and the State had to proceed to trial without the CI's testimony. On May 5, 2022, four days prior to the trial, the trial court conducted a hearing on various motions filed by the parties with respect to the video recording made by the CI during the controlled buy. Mitchell objected to the admission of the evidence at trial, claiming that the video would be confusing for the jury and that, “without a [CI], whatever happens at the end, needs his testimony because it's hearsay.” (Transcript Vol. II, p. 4). Mitchell also argued that “if any part of the video comes in, the whole video needs to come in.” (Tr. Vol. II, p. 4). The trial court preliminarily ruled that “subject to admissibility and authentication, the video, the content of the video will be admissible, if [the State] can lay a proper foundation.” (Tr. Vol. II, p. 5). The parties later stipulated that the video would be redacted to exclude statements made during Trooper Brown's debriefing of the CI.
 On May 9, 2022, the case proceeded to trial. During Trooper Brown's testimony, the State moved to admit the redacted video recording of the controlled buy. As presented to the jury, the recording contained approximately one and a half hours of video footage recorded during the controlled buy, which was split among four separate digital files. Mitchell objected to the admission of the recording. Upon questioning by the trial court as to whether the “[s]ubstance” of the objection “agree[d] with the arguments that we've had,” Mitchell confirmed. (Tr. Vol. II, p. 80). He provided no further argument against the admissibility of the recording, and the trial court ordered the recording admitted over objection. At the close of the evidence, the jury found Mitchell guilty as charged.
 On June 29, 2022, the trial court conducted a sentencing hearing. The trial court found Mitchell's extensive criminal history and recent violations of conditions of his bond as aggravating circumstances, while finding Mitchell's substance abuse disorder and his history of mental illness as mitigators. The trial court sentenced him to the advisory sentence of nine years for his Level 3 felony dealing in methamphetamine and to three years for his Level 5 felony possession of methamphetamine, with the sentences to be served concurrently. The trial court enhanced his Level 3 felony sentence by ten years due to the habitual offender enhancement. The trial court advised that it would order Mitchell to participate in Recovery while Incarcerated “only after serving nine actual years of incarceration.” (Tr. Vol. II, pp. 158-59).
 Mitchell now appeals. Additional facts will be provided if necessary.
DISCUSSION AND DECISION
I. Admissibility of Video Recording
 Mitchell contends that the admission of the video recording violated his Confrontation Right pursuant to the Sixth Amendment under the United States Constitution. “[T]he decision to admit or exclude evidence is within a trial court's sound discretion and is afforded great deference on appeal.” Ennik v. State, 40 N.E.3d 868, 877 (Ind. Ct. App. 2015). Accordingly, our court will reverse a trial court's ruling on the admission of evidence only if “it represents a manifest abuse of discretion that results in the denial of a fair trial.” Id. It is an abuse of discretion if “the trial court's decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the court or it misinterprets the law.” Id.
 Initially, we note that although Mitchell contends on appeal that the admission of the video recording of the drug buy violated his Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses against him, he failed to make any objection on that basis before the trial court. Prior to trial, Mitchell objected to the admission of the evidence based on hearsay grounds, but he did not reference the Sixth Amendment at this pre-trial hearing, let alone develop an argument to place the trial court on notice that there was a constitutional dimension to the issue of the video's admissibility. He did not raise a new objection when the State moved to admit the video during trial, instead, he incorporated the arguments raised at the pre-trial hearing. As our supreme court has observed, an objection on one ground cannot serve as an objection on another, distinct legal issue. Konopasek v. State, 946 N.E.2d 23, 27 (Ind. 2011). Because the Confrontation Clause issue that Mitchell now seeks to bring on appeal was not raised before the trial court, we conclude that Mitchell waived his Sixth Amendment claim. See Washington v. State, 840 N.E.2d 873, 880 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006) (we found the claim waived when Washington did not present his Sixth Amendment violation argument before the trial court).
 Waiver notwithstanding, we will address Mitchell's Sixth Amendment contention. Mitchell maintains that the purpose of the video was to establish events pertinent to a future criminal prosecution; therefore, the statements contained in the video are ‘testimonial’ hearsay that may not be admitted in a criminal trial pursuant to the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution unless the witness testifies at trial, is unavailable, or the defendant had a prior opportunity to cross-examine. Claiming that by waiting five years before locating the CI the State did not make a good faith effort to procure the CI's testimony, Mitchell asserts that the CI was not unavailable and therefore, the statements made by the CI to Mitchell inside Mitchell's house were inadmissible testimonial hearsay pursuant to the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
 The Sixth Amendment provides that “the accused shall enjoy the right ․ to be confronted with the witnesses against him[.]” The Confrontation Clause prohibits the admission of “testimonial hearsay” where the defendant will not have the opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 68 (2004). However, it “does not bar the use of testimonial statements for purposes other than establishing the truth of the matter asserted.” Id. at 59 n. 9. “Thus, if a statement is either nontestimonial or non-hearsay, the federal Confrontation Clause will not bar its admissibility at trial.” Williams v. State, 930 N.E.2d 602, 607-08 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), trans. denied.
 Mitchell specifically objected to certain statements included in the video where the CI, after entering Mitchell's residence, can be heard inquiring “what's the damage?”, asking “that's for that, right? ․ that's the extra ․ all that man ․ all that trouble ․” and having various peripheral conversations with other individuals inside Mitchell's residence while the controlled buy took place. (State's Exh. 3, File 3, at 7:28:12-7:28:13; State's Exh. 3, File 4, at 7:28:28-7:28:33).
 Here, the recordings of the CI's statements were not offered for their truth; rather, the statements highlighted by Mitchell amount to questions raised by the CI which were intended to elicit a response from Mitchell, presumably about the cost and amount of the purchased methamphetamine. As such, the CI's recorded statements merely provided context for Mitchell's involvement and served as situational evidence from which the jury could have gleaned the manner in which the drug transaction was carried out. Statements that provide context for other admissible statements are not hearsay because they are not offered for their truth. Williams, 930 N.E.2d at 609 (quoting U.S. v. Tolliver, 454 F.3d 660, 666 (7th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1149, 127 S.Ct. 1019, 166 L.Ed.2d 768 (2007)). Having determined that the CI's statements contained in the recordings were not hearsay, we hold that the admission of the video recording was not barred by the Confrontation Clause, and we thus conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the video at Mitchell's trial. See, e.g., Vaughn v. State, 13 N.E.3d 873, 880 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014) (holding that the trial court's admission of audio recordings of telephone calls between the CI and the defendant to discuss a meeting place for controlled drug buys did not violate the defendant's right to confront witnesses because the recordings were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted and therefore did not constitute hearsay), trans. denied; Williams, 930 N.E.2d at 609 (holding that statements of the CI, recorded during the course of controlled drug buys, were non-hearsay and thus the trial court's admission of statements did not violate the defendant's right to confront witnesses because the statements were not offered to prove the truth of the CI's statements but rather provided context for defendant's statements); and Lehman v. State, 926 N.E.2d 35, 38 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010) (holding no abuse of discretion occurred in the admission of audio recordings of conversations between the defendant and the CI during drug transactions, where the conversations contained drug-dealing terminology and the CI's statements were not introduced for the truth of the matter asserted and therefore were not hearsay), trans. denied.
II. Inappropriateness of Sentence
 Mitchell next contends that considering the nature of the offenses and his character a downward revision of his sentence is warranted. Sentencing is primarily “a discretionary function in which the trial court's judgment should receive considerable deference.” Cardwell v. State, 895 N.E.2d 1219, 1222 (Ind. 2008). Nevertheless, although a trial court may have acted within its lawful discretion in fashioning a sentence, our court may revise the sentence “if, after due consideration of the trial court's decision, [we] find[ ] that the sentence is inappropriate in light of the nature of the offense and the character of the offender.” Ind. Appellate Rule 7(B). “The principal role of appellate review should be to attempt to leaven the outliers, and identify some guiding principles for trial courts and those charged with improvement of the sentencing statutes, but not to achieve a perceived ‘correct’ result in each case.” Cardwell, 895 N.E.2d at 1225. Ultimately, “whether we regard a sentence as appropriate at the end of the day turns on our sense of the culpability of the defendant, the severity of the crime, the damage done to others, and myriad other factors that come to light in a given case.” Id. at 1224. We focus on “the length of the aggregate sentence and how it is to be served.” Id. Our court does “not look to see whether the defendant's sentence is appropriate or if another sentence might be more appropriate; rather, the test is whether the sentence is ‘inappropriate.’ ” Barker v. State, 994 N.E.2d 306, 315 (Ind. Ct. App. 2013), trans. denied. Mitchell bears the burden of persuading our court that his sentence is inappropriate. King v. State, 894 N.E.2d 265, 267 (Ind. Ct. App. 2008). The trial court's judgment should prevail unless it is “overcome by compelling evidence portraying in a positive light the nature of the offense ․ and the defendant's character.” Stephenson v. State, 29 N.E.3d 111, 111-12 (Ind. 2015).
 The advisory sentence is the starting point selected by the General Assembly as a reasonable sentence for the crime committed. Childress v. State, 848 N.E.2d 1073, 1081 (Ind. 2006). The advisory sentence for a Level 3 felony is nine years, with a minimum sentence being three years and a maximum sentence of sixteen years. See I.C. § 35-50-2-5(b). The advisory sentence for a Level 5 felony is three years, with the minimum sentence being one year and a maximum sentence of six years. See I.C. § 35-50-2-6(b). For a person who is found to be an habitual offender and convicted of a Level 1 through 4 felony, “the court shall sentence a person ․ to an additional fixed term that is between six and twenty years.” See I.C. § 35-50-2-8. Here, the trial court sentenced Mitchell to the advisory sentence of nine years for his Level 3 felony dealing in methamphetamine and the advisory sentence of three years for his Level 5 felony possession of methamphetamine, with those sentences to be served concurrently. The trial court enhanced his Level 3 felony sentence by ten years due to the habitual offender enhancement, for an aggregate sentence of nineteen years.
 Mitchell has failed to persuade us that his sentence is inappropriate. With respect to the nature of the crimes, Mitchell pulls the victim card and claims that he “was targeted for a controlled buy by a confidential informant and an undercover detective.” (Appellant's Br. p. 23). He maintains that “[t]he result of this investigation was not to remove drugs from the streets of southern Indiana, but rather, in their fervor to snare a target, the informant and detective actually facilitated the importation of methamphetamine from Kentucky into Indiana.” (Appellant's Br. p. 23). However, it is Mitchell who was responsible for disseminating illegal drugs into his community and who was involved in the illegal drug trade not only in Indiana but also in Kentucky. The record supports that this was neither a one-off occurrence, nor a case of Mitchell helping a “fellow user.” (Appellant's Br. p. 22). Once the arranged buy was completed, Mitchell offered to furnish Trooper Brown with additional drugs in even greater quantities in the future.
 Turning to Mitchell's character, we note his lengthy criminal record. Not only does he have a history of juvenile adjudications, his first adult offense was a battery, committed in 2003, when he was just eighteen years old. Since then, Mitchell has continued to commit new crimes, including operating a vehicle while intoxicated, public intoxication, possession of a controlled substance, domestic battery, resisting law enforcement, dealing in a Schedule I, II, or III controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of heroin. At the time of the current proceedings, Mitchell had pending charges in Indiana for possession of methamphetamine, criminal trespass, and operating a vehicle without a license, as well as pending charges in Kentucky for receiving stolen property, possession of heroin, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and operating a vehicle with a revoked or suspended license.
 Mitchell's request for a reduced sentence because his “troubles stem from his drug addiction” is likewise unpersuasive. (Appellant's Br. p. 24). While Mitchell reported daily drug use for marijuana, spice, and heroin, his substance abuse is not an excuse for his criminal conduct. His presentence investigation report indicates that Mitchell participated in substance-abuse treatment recently, yet continued to use illegal drugs following the completion of his program. Despite being given the opportunity for rehabilitation, Mitchell failed to reform his recidivistic character, prompting the trial court to state that “recovery will be forced upon him but not to a great benefit in reduction of time.” (Tr. Vol. II, p. 158). We affirm the trial court's imposition of Mitchell's sentence.
 Based on the foregoing, we hold that the trial court's admission of the video recording did not violate Mitchell's right to confront and cross-examine the witness under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and Mitchell's sentence is not inappropriate in light of the nature of his offenses and his character.
 Altice, C. J. and Pyle, J. concur
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Docket No: Court of Appeals Case No. 22A-CR-1803
Decided: February 27, 2023
Court: Court of Appeals of Indiana.
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