DE: State failed to show exigency for “hot pusuit,” or even pursuit

The state failed to show exigency for hot pursuit. Defendant fled to a dwelling where he was a frequent guest. There was no indication of a risk of destruction of evidence. State v. Foreman, 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 416 (Aug. 29, 2019):

20. The State contends that the warrantless entry was justified because it was necessary to prevent a suspect’s escape. At first glance, this might meet the standard. However, upon further review of the factors to determine exigency, it actually may not.

21. Here, it does not appear that there was a great sense of urgency involved in apprehending the Defendant. Indeed, there were multiple officers present on the scene, and it is apparent that each officer was observing possible exits from the residence. Furthermore, as the Defendant was hiding in the attic, he did not appear to be trying to escape. Under the circumstances of this case, the risk that the suspect could have escaped the residence was not significant because the residence was surrounded by police. Therefore, it appears that police could have waited for a warrant. Given the time it took for the SORT unit to arrive (over 1 hour), the officers could have obtained a search warrant.

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