2014 Opinion No. 84
Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Melissa Moody, District Judge.
Order denying motion to suppress evidence, affirmed.
Sara B. Thomas, State Appellate Public Defender; Sally J. Cooley, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.
Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Jessica M. Lorello, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Chief Judge GUTIERREZ and Judge GRATTON, LANSING, Judge.
After arresting Justin Lee Pedersen on a warrant, an officer searched Pedersen's jacket and found methamphetamine in a pocket. Pedersen was then charged with possession of a controlled substance. He filed a suppression motion, arguing that the search of his jacket was illegal because the jacket was not in his possession at the time of arrest. The district court disagreed and held that the jacket was permissibly searched incident to arrest. Pedersen appeals.
Early in an evening in March, several law enforcement officers were at a residence in Garden City. While the officers were at the scene, Pedersen arrived, and events unfolded that led to his arrest for possession of methamphetamine, Idaho Code 37-2732(c).
Pedersen filed a suppression motion, asserting that the methamphetamine was found during a search that violated the Fourth Amendment.
At a hearing on the motion, Pedersen testified that, when arrested, he resided at the Garden City home with three other individuals. During the evening in question, he arrived home on his motorcycle and saw numerous vehicles parked there. He also saw standing outside several plainclothes officers and several of his roommates and other friends. An officer approached him, asked for basic information, and denied Pedersen's request to go inside to use the restroom. Pedersen then removed " everything on his person," i.e., his wallet, knife, cellphone, and jacket, and handed these items to a roommate. He then sat on a railroad tie to smoke a cigarette. At that point, he was ten to fifteen feet from the roommate with his jacket. Five to seven minutes later, the officer who had previously approached Pedersen arrested and handcuffed him, stating that there was a warrant for his arrest. ...