W.D.Mo.: Knock-and-announce didn’t apply to an open door; plain view reasonable, but wife’s consent was vitiated by threat of jail if she didn’t sign form

Officers came to defendant’s house both on a call about the welfare of children living there and with a pre-existing warrant for defendant’s arrest. They encountered one of the children outside taking trash to the street and determined that defendant was home. The officer stepped in the open door and called out for defendant. No weapons were drawn. This circuit has previously held that an open door vitiates knock-and-announce. “The Court finds that the officers’ entry into the residence to effectuate the arrest of defendant Sherrod on a warrant was reasonable. The officers were not required to knock and announce their presence before entering the open door of the residence.” Defendant’s wife’s consent to search after they were inside is involuntary because she was told to sign the consent form or go to jail. She was also under the influence of something. “However, Officer Trost told Ms. Sherrod that if she did not sign the consent form, she would be going to jail because of the ‘stuff’ at the house and her city warrant. (Fact No. 10) On cross-examination, Officer Trost was asked: ‘You gave her an option, sign it or go to jail, correct?’ and Officer Trost answered, ‘Yes.’ (Fact No. 10)” The gun in plain view, however, are not suppressed. United States v. Sherrod, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198114 (W.D. Mo. Oct. 30, 2017), adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198115 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 1, 2017).

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