NYTimes: How an Unlikely Family History Website Transformed Cold Case Investigations

NYTimes: How an Unlikely Family History Website Transformed Cold Case Investigations by Heather Murphy:

Fifteen murder and sexual assault cases have been solved since April with a single genealogy website. This is how GEDmatch went from a casual side project to a revolutionary tool.

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WaPo: Opinion: Little Rock’s dangerous and illegal drug war

WaPo: Opinion: Little Rock’s dangerous and illegal drug war by Radley Balko (with security video of the raid) (and this is a product of Hudson v. Michigan, which we can thank SCOTUS for):
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OH2: Motion for return of property after a forfeiture order is final is moot

A motion for return of property after a forfeiture order is final is moot. State v. Housley, 2018-Ohio-4140, 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 4467 (2d Dist. Oct. 12, 2018).

There was no Franks violation. Officers got permission from a child to look for a parent, which they did, and there was no deception. There were some minor omissions, but they weren’t material to anything. State v. Brittain, 2018-Ohio-4136, 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 4457 (2d Dist. Oct. 12, 2018).*

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DE: Officer’s training and experience in intoxicated drivers was relevant and significant to the PC showing

The officer’s training and experience in intoxicated drivers was relevant and significant to the probable cause showing in the affidavit for defendant’s BAC. He was not a mere layperson making an observation as defendant says. State v. Law, 2018 Del. Super. LEXIS 437 (Oct. 11, 2018).

Officers entered defendant’s house with an arrest warrant for him and a third party. [After a long roundabout discussion:] The entry was justified under Payton as to defendant and with hot pursuit as to the other, aside from his status in the premises. State v. Daboni, 2018-Ohio-4155, 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 4475 (4th Dist. Oct. 5, 2018).*

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DE: Motion deadlines are there for a reason; the defense doesn’t show “exceptional circumstances” to overcome the deadline

There are motion deadlines for a reason. Former defense counsel reviewed the file and didn’t see a basis for a motion to suppress. Another defense lawyer came in and did. The excuse for getting around the deadline is late disclosure of some materials by the state. The court doesn’t find those materials had anything to do with what’s in the motion to suppress. “Defendant has failed to show that exceptional circumstances prevented the filing of a timely motion to suppress which would warrant consideration of the untimely motion. Therefore, Defendant’s Motion to File Motion to Suppress Out of Time is DENIED.” State v. Braxton, 2018 Del. Super. LEXIS 440 (Oct 11, 2018). [Note: This, of course, could lead to the failure to file the motion to suppress becoming an IAC claim against first defense counsel, but it still remains: Would the motion succeed? How many trial judges look at motion to suppress and make a mental calculation: If I deny the motion to suppress will it really prejudice the defense? If it will, hear the motion and deny it on the merits and cut off the PCR claim? If it won’t, why clutter the PCR? Hear the motion and deny it on the merits if it doesn’t fly?]

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CA8: Def abandoned a rental car he didn’t rent and didn’t have keys to on another’s back property

Defendant drove a rental car rented by another and parked it in someone’s backyard he didn’t know. He knocked on the door, got no answer, and left the car there. The owner, however, was there and didn’t answer the door. The owner called the police who came, ran the LPN and saw that it was a rental car. Defendant came running up to the car claiming he drove it there. But, he had no key and he gave a story about why he left the car there. The whole thing seemed suspicious, so he was handcuffed while the officers sorted it out. There were also warrants out for him. Ultimately, the car was opened by the tow truck driver with a slimjim, and the inventory produced drugs in a solid Coke can “safe.” The inventory was stopped for a search warrant. The initial search of the car was valid, as was the search with the warrant. The car was trespassing and essentially abandoned. (The court assumes without deciding he had standing.) United States v. Long, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 28746 (8th Cir. Oct. 12, 2018).

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D.Kan.: Driver had no standing in car search even though owner was with him in car

A mere possessor/driver of a car has no standing in it, even allegedly with permission of the owner who was sitting in the car with him [and this certainly seems completely contrary to Bryd]. United States v. Gonzalez-Molina, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175085 (D. Kan. Oct. 11, 2018).*

Defendant did not allege or even attempt to show that he was an overnight guest on the premises to have standing to contest the search of the premises. United States v. Gregory, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176064 (N.D. W.Va. Sep. 24, 2018),* adopted, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174816 (N.D. W.Va. Oct. 11, 2018).*

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N.D.Ga.: Court assumes exclusionary rule applies to 404(b) evidence and finds 2003 search valid for trial in 2018; frisk of fannypack valid

Defendant moved to suppress 404(b) evidence of a 2003 stop and search that the government will offer into evidence in his current indictment involving allegations from 2014 going to trial shortly. The stop was on video, and the officer’s testimony is credited that the stop was justified. On the video defendant admits to having a knife in a fannypack, and the officer lawfully conducted a Terry pat frisk of the fannypack. Later consent to search his vehicle was voluntary. United States v. Warnock, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174976 (N.D Ga. Oct. 11, 2018). (See Treatise § 9.02, exclusionary rule and 404(b) evidence.)

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E.D.Ky.: Searching def’s underwear for drugs at 1:24 am on a virtually empty street that nobody likely saw was not unreasonable

The officer’s search of defendant’s underwear for drugs at 1:24 am on a dark night and nearly empty street was not a strip search and it was reasonably conducted. Nobody else was close enough to see anything. United States v. Jackson, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174849 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 11, 2018):
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E.D.Wis.: SW in tax fraud case wasn’t stale despite some information being years old

Defendants were indicted in a tax fraud scheme, and some of the information used to get the warrant was years old. The court finds it not stale on the totality because it is a records case and it is common that these types of records are kept for a long time. “This type of evidence ‘[is] largely immune from claims of staleness.'” United States v. Ramirez, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176024 (E.D. Wis. Aug. 23, 2018), adopted, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175664 (E.D. Wis. Oct. 11, 2018):
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KS: Pushing a button on a cell phone to light up screen was not a plain view; suppression affirmed

Defendant was involved in a fatal car accident, and the officer at the scene allegedly saw the screen of the cell phone in plain view showing texting at the time of the accident. While two U.S. District Court cases support such a plain view, the trial court made findings relying on evidence in the record that a button was pushed to open the phone, and that’s not plain view. State v. Salazar, 2018 Kan. App. LEXIS 55 (Oct. 12, 2018).

Defendant doesn’t show ineffective assistance of counsel for defense counsel not challenging the look through his garage window and seeing a car that had recently been carjacked. The officer was legitimately on the property, and defendant doesn’t flesh out this argument to make it understandable. Williams v. United States, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176056 (S.D. Ala. Oct. 12, 2018).*

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TN: Def wasn’t seized when officer parked next to him to talk, but he was when he tried to leave and was told to stop; all reasonable

Stopping next to defendant’s car to talk to him wasn’t a seizure. When defendant moved and attempted to leave, the officer told him to stop, and that was a seizure. The encounter was based on an anonymous caller’s information, and it quickly progressed to reasonable suspicion. State v. Crepack, 2018 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 767 (Oct. 12, 2018):
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