Post details: TN: Possibility of destruction of evidence as exigency requires showing; it potentially always exists

07/02/13

Permalink 12:00:15 am, by fourth, 245 words, 559 views   English (US)
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TN: Possibility of destruction of evidence as exigency requires showing; it potentially always exists

Officers did not violate the curtilage by following the driveway to the apparent door of the home, which was in back, to conduct a nighttime knock-and-talk. Since defendant was not awakened, the court doesn’t consider it unreasonable as to time. Officers did, however, violate the Fourth Amendment by pulling defendant out and searching based on alleged exigent circumstances of their own making. It did not, however, mandate suppression of the evidence because the officers did succeed in showing an independent source for the information that went into the search warrant. State v. Whitaker, 2013 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 570 (June 28, 2013):

[More:]

We agree with the trial court's conclusion that Agent Davis's removal of Defendant Whitaker from the house and the subsequent search of the house by Agents McCallie and Arrington were not justified by exigent circumstances. Agent Davis admitted at the suppression hearing that when these actions occurred, "[t]here was no immediate threat to anyone at that time," and there was nothing to suggest that the evidence was in danger of being destroyed by the occupants of the house. The only evidence to support the State's argument that the agents' actions were justified was speculation by Agent Davis that there is always a possibility of evidence being destroyed or a threat of serious harm in narcotics investigations. Here, there were no specific and articulable facts to justify the agents' actions; therefore, we conclude that their actions amounted to an unlawful warrantless search of Defendant Whitaker's home.

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