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State v. McDonald

Court of Appeals of Idaho

August 1, 2013

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
DAVID R. MCDONALD, Defendant-Appellant.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

2013 Unpublished Opinion No. 607

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

Judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance.

Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Spencer J. Hahn, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Russell J. Spencer, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

GUTIERREZ, Chief Judge.

David R. McDonald appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) entered upon his conditional guilty plea. Specifically, he argues that the district court erred by denying his motion to suppress. For the following reasons, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

In 2009, McDonald was convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia and placed on misdemeanor probation for two years. His probation agreement provided inter alia that he abstain from drug use or possession. The agreement also permitted probation officers to search his person, residence, and any property under his control without a warrant, as long as the officers had reasonable suspicion of evidence of a probation violation.

On April 28, 2011, McDonald's probation officer, Officer Gomez, determined that there was reasonable suspicion to search McDonald's house for evidence of a probation violation. The events leading up to this began when McDonald tested positive for the use of methamphetamine on both January 26 and February 1, 2011. After which, Officer Gomez instructed McDonald to enter a treatment program. McDonald did not enter the treatment program, but told Officer Gomez that he had. When Officer Gomez found out that McDonald had falsely claimed to have entered treatment, she again instructed him to enter a treatment program, and McDonald again failed to enter a treatment program. On April 18, 2011, Officer Gomez learned that McDonald had attempted to falsify a drug test. Because McDonald tested positive for methamphetamine, refused to enter treatment, and was caught trying to falsify a drug test, Officer Gomez suspected that McDonald was violating his probation by using drugs. Accordingly, Officer Gomez went to McDonald's house and searched his bedroom. She found methamphetamine, marijuana, and a device that is used to falsify urine samples for drug testing.

The State charged McDonald with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine). McDonald moved to suppress the evidence that Officer Gomez obtained from his bedroom. After an evidentiary hearing, the district court denied the suppression motion. The court concluded that the search was consistent with the terms of McDonald's probation agreement because Officer Gomez had reasonable suspicion to believe that searching McDonald's room would produce evidence of a probation violation. ...


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