MO: SI of bag with def was valid because, although handcuffed, he wasn’t yet in the patrol car

Search incident of a bag associated with defendant was valid here because defendant wasn’t handcuffed and inside a patrol car. Instead, he was handcuffed and outside the patrol car, and, of course, that’s a big difference. State v. Hughes, 2017 Mo. App. LEXIS 1091 (Oct. 24, 2017):

Here, Hughes’s bag was searched after he was arrested and handcuffed but while he was still standing by the vehicle he got out of, in between the officers and the vehicle. Thus, this case is distinguishable from Carrawell in that Hughes was not in the back of the police car at the time of the search but rather was standing next to the vehicle he had just stepped out of. The issue is whether the bag was within Hughes’s immediate control at the time of the search. The State suggests the bag was still in Hughes’s immediate control, noting he was standing next to the vehicle and was in close proximity to the bag. Hughes argues the bag was not within his immediate control because he was handcuffed. We need not decide this issue, however, because the search here occurred before Carrawell became precedent. At the time Officer Jeffries made the search “there was court of appeals precedent authorizing officers to search an arrestee’s personal effects as a search incident to arrest, even if such items were not within the arrestee’s immediate control.” Carrawell, 481 S.W.3d at 846 (citing Ellis, 355 S.W.3d at 524-25); see also Johnson, 354 S.W.3d at 630. Carrawell, by its reasoning, only applies to searches occurring after Carrawell was decided. 481 S.W.3d at 846. Thus, like in Carrawell, we find no abuse of discretion by the trial court in denying Hughes’s motion to suppress. Point denied.

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