Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Deborah A. Bail, District Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge
Order denying motion to suppress evidence, affirmed.
Jack C. Kessler appeals following his judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine. He challenges the district court's denial of his motion to suppress the drug evidence. Kessler asserts that there was no reasonable suspicion for his detention and no justification for the subsequent frisk that resulted in an officer's discovery of methamphetamine in Kessler's pocket. We affirm.
Around 1:30 a.m. on a November night, police received a report that two or three people had been involved in breaking the window of a vehicle at an apartment complex. Several officers responded. One of them reported to the others that he had seen three men running in a direction leading away from the crime scene and had commanded them to stop. The officer said he apprehended one of the men but the other two were still running. The only description of the men was that they were males in dark clothing.
The officers, including Boise police officer Sherri Kauffman, decided to set up a loose perimeter to try to apprehend the two remaining men. Toward that end, Officer Kauffman went to an area that was six to eight blocks from the location where the suspects had fled from the other officer. The first person she saw was Kessler, who was walking briskly down the street toward her. Kessler was wearing a dark jacket and dark jeans. When Kessler first saw Officer Kauffman, he stopped and then looked to the right, away from the street, causing the officer to believe that he might be planning to run. The officer exited her vehicle and ordered Kessler to lie down and place his hands behind his back. He complied. The officer then asked if Kessler had any weapons on his person, and he responded that there was a knife in his front pocket. When Officer Kauffman retrieved the knife, a packet of methamphetamine came out with it. Kessler was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, Idaho Code § 37- 2732(c).
Kessler filed a motion to suppress evidence of the drugs on grounds that Officer Kauffman had no reasonable suspicion to stop him and no justification for the frisk. The district court denied the motion. Kessler thereafter conditionally pleaded guilty, reserving the right to appeal the denial of his suppression motion.
Kessler contends that the methamphetamine acquired as a consequence of the stop should have been suppressed because the information possessed by the officer did not create reasonable suspicion that Kessler was involved in the recently reported car burglary. When reviewing the decision on a suppression motion, we defer to the trial court's findings of fact unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. Henage, 143 Idaho 655, 658, 152 P.3d 16, 19 (2007); State v. Hawkins, 131 Idaho 396, 400, 958 P.2d 22, 26 (Ct. App. 1998). Deference is given to the trial court's decisions regarding the credibility of witnesses, the weight to be given to conflicting evidence, and the factual inferences to be drawn. State v. Valdez-Molina, 127 Idaho 102, 106, 897 P.2d 993, 997 (1995). We ...