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State v. Frederick

July 27, 2010

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
COREY SEAN FREDERICK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Juneal C. Kerrick, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Horton, Justice

2010 Opinion No. 89

The decision of the district court denying the motion to suppress is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

This case arises out of a district court‟s denial of Corey Sean Frederick‟s motion to suppress evidence seized during a search of his automobile after he was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court. Frederick entered a conditional plea of guilty to possession of methamphetamine and timely appealed the denial of his suppression motion to the Idaho Court of Appeals. That court affirmed the district court. We granted Frederick‟s petition for review and now reverse the decision of the district court.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The facts of this case are not in dispute. On November 9, 2005, Parma, Idaho, Police Officer Christopher Cullen was attempting to serve some outstanding arrest warrants from Wilder, Idaho, as part of a mutual aid agreement between the two cities. Wilder Officer Dustin Tveidt advised Officer Cullen that he suspected that a nearby white pickup truck belonged to Frederick, one of the individuals for whom there was an outstanding Wilder warrant.

Officer Cullen was travelling in his patrol car towards the Jackson‟s convenience store to refill his mug of soda when the white pickup in question passed him. Officer Cullen followed the pickup, which was also headed towards the Jackson‟s. The white pickup pulled into the Jackson‟s parking lot and parked, and the driver got out of the truck. Officer Cullen also pulled into the parking lot, parking 20 feet away from the truck. Before the driver of the truck shut the door to his vehicle, but after he was outside of his vehicle and walking toward the front of the Jackson‟s store, Officer Cullen, standing next to his patrol car, called out the name "Mr. Frederick." The driver of the truck turned around and said "yes." Officer Cullen asked the driver if he was "Corey Sean Frederick," to which the driver replied "yes." Officer Cullen asked Frederick to approach him and, as Frederick complied, Officer Cullen explained he had a warrant for Frederick‟s arrest. Officer Cullen arrested Frederick, handcuffed him, and seated him in the back seat of his patrol car.

Officer Cullen then went to the pickup and "cleared" the cab to make sure that it was safe to bring his canine drug detection partner into the vehicle to search. Officer Cullen then had his canine partner search around the exterior of the truck. The dog then went into the cab and immediately "sat," indicating that it had detected the odor of drugs. Officer Cullen then pointed to individual objects in the cab, including a shaving kit on the passenger seat and a pen tube on the floor. The dog reacted to both items in a fashion which indicated the presence of drugs. Officer Cullen ultimately located a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Frederick brought a motion to suppress the drug evidence seized from his vehicle pursuant to Article I, Sections 13 and 17 of the Constitution of the State of Idaho and under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America. The district court denied the motion, first in an oral ruling and later in a written order. In an unpublished opinion, the Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed.*fn1

Frederick filed a petition for review and on May 5, 2008, filed a motion to stay appellate proceedings until after the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a decision in Arizona v. Gant, 128 S.Ct. 1443 (Feb. 25, 2008). We granted the stay, and on April 21, 2009, the Supreme Court issued Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. ___, 129 S.Ct. 1710 (2009). We then granted Frederick‟s petition for review.

Frederick asserts that the search of his truck was illegal under Gant and that thus we should reverse the district court‟s denial of his motion to suppress. The State concedes that the search was illegal, but asks us to apply a "good faith" exception to the rule that evidence seized pursuant to an illegal search must be excluded.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"In cases that come before this Court on a petition for review of a Court of Appeals decision, this Court gives serious consideration to the views of the Court of Appeals, but directly reviews the decision of the lower court." State v. Oliver, 144 Idaho 722, 724, 170 P.3d 387, 389 (2007).*fn2 In reviewing a district court order granting or denying a motion to suppress evidence, the standard of review is bifurcated. State v. Watts, 142 Idaho 230, 232, 127 P.3d 133, 135 (2005). This Court will accept the trial court‟s findings of fact unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. Diaz, 144 Idaho 300, 302, 160 ...


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