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State v. Tena

Court of Appeals of Idaho

April 17, 2014

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
SANTOS TENA, Defendant-Appellant

2014 Opinion No. 29

Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Cassia County. Hon. Michael R. Crabtree, District Judge.

Order denying motion to suppress, affirmed.

Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Ben Patrick McGreevy, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; John C. McKinney, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

GRATTON, Judge. Chief Judge GUTIERREZ and Judge LANSING CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 400

[156 Idaho 424] GRATTON, Judge

Santos Tena appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, a violation of Idaho Code § 37-2732(c)(1). Tena alleges the district court erred by denying his motion to suppress. We affirm.

Page 401

[156 Idaho 425] I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Tena, thirty-one years old, lived in a room in his parents' basement. Two officers arrived at the residence with warrants for Tena's arrest. As the officers approached the residence, the garage door opened. Unable to see anyone inside, the officers entered the garage and knocked on the door to the house. Tena's mother answered the door and explained tat Tena was asleep in his room. When she went downstairs to retrieve him, the officers heard her and Tena arguing. By then a third officer had arrived and the officers promptly went downstairs and arrested Tena. As one of the officers escorted Tena to the patrol car to transport him to jail, Tena yelled not to let the officers into the house. The officer then secured Tena in the patrol car located to the north of the residence.

The other two officers remained at the residence to speak with Tena's mother. The officers spoke with her in English and one officer translated in Spanish, as necessary. The officers asked if she owned the house and if she had access to it. She affirmatively answered both questions. She also described her son as lazy, and said that he hardly ever left his room and that she brought him meals and collected his laundry from the room. The officers then asked for consent and explained that consent allowed them to search the house and Tena's bedroom. After the officer translated the relevant part of a consent form, Tena's mother orally gave consent and signed the form. Then, without hesitation, she took the officers to Tena's bedroom. The room's door stood partially open and it had an old skeleton key lock on it. Tena's mother later indicated the door was never locked. The officers searched the room and found methamphetamine.

Tena subsequently filed a motion to suppress the evidence found in his room. The district court denied the motion, holding Tena's mother had apparent authority to grant consent. Tena entered a conditional ...


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