NC: Affidavit’s complete failure to show nexus required suppression

The affidavit for the search warrant completely failed to link defendant to the place to be searched, and the trial court erred in not suppressing the search. State v. Lewis, 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 442 (May 1, 2018):

Lewis also challenges the search of the residence at 7085 Laurinburg Road. We agree with Lewis that the warrant application and affidavit fail to establish probable cause to search this home. As the State concedes, although Lewis resided at 7085 Laurinburg Road, the affidavit does not say that. The only information in the affidavit tying Lewis to 7085 Laurinburg Road is the statement that Hoke County officers observed a dark blue Nissan Titan “at the residence of 7085 Laurinburg Road … when serving a felony arrest warrant on Robert Lewis issued by Smithfield Police Department.” As explained above, this statement is sufficient to establish that Lewis was found at that location; but it does not follow from that statement that Lewis also must reside at that location. Indeed, from the information in the affidavit, 7085 Laurinburg Road could have been a someone else’s home with no connection to Lewis at all. That Lewis visited that location, without some indication that he may have stowed incriminating evidence there, is not enough to justify a search of the home. See McKinney, 368 N.C. at 165-66, 775 S.E.2d at 825-26; State v. Campbell, 282 N.C. 125, 131-32, 191 S.E.2d 752, 756-57 (1972). Accordingly, we agree with Lewis that the trial court should have granted his motion to suppress with respect to the search of the home.

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