TN: Factual statements from other LEOs not judged as CI statements in affidavit

Relying on factual statements of other law enforcement officers for a search warrant affidavit is more than just adopting the bare conclusions of others. They are entitled to more credibility than statements of CIs. State v. Almahmmody, 2019 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 515 (Aug. 23, 2019):

Here, the affidavit contains more than the bare conclusions of others. Affiant states that the affidavit “is based upon information received from other law enforcement officers … which the [a]ffiant believes to be true.” In describing that information, the affiant explains when and where a homicide occurred. The next sentence states, “This cell phone was recovered from the suspect [Defendant] when he was arrested.” A reasonable, commonsense understanding of this sentence in context is that Defendant was suspected of and arrested for the homicide as detailed in the previous sentence. Because the affiant also explained that the cell phone had communications regarding the homicide, and Defendant had his cell phone at the time of the homicide, the facts as presented in the affidavit create a sufficient nexus between Defendant’s cell phone and Mr. Hatcher’s homicide. Thus, “those statements contained in the search warrant affidavit address the ‘commonsense, practical question whether there is “probable cause” to believe that contraband or evidence is located in a particular place.'” Therefore, the trial court properly denied Defendant’s motion to suppress. Defendant is not entitled to relief.

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