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State v. Beck

Court of Appeals of Idaho

October 8, 2014

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
RICHARD L. BECK, Defendant-Appellant

2014 Opinion No. 82.

Page 810

Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Boise County. Hon. Kathryn A. Sticklen, District Judge. Hon. Roger Cockerille, Magistrate.

Order of the district court affirming the magistrate's order denying motion to suppress, affirmed.

David J. Smethers, Boise County Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. David J. Smethers argued.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Jessica M. Lorello, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Jessica M. Lorello argued.

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

OPINION

Page 811

[157 Idaho 404] GRATTON, Judge

Richard L. Beck appeals from the district court's intermediate appellate decision affirming the judgment entered upon Beck's conditional guilty plea to possession of paraphernalia. Specifically, Beck challenges the denial of his motion to suppress. We affirm.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A sheriff's deputy and Army Corps of Engineers' ranger responded to a report of a camper smoking marijuana at Macks Creek Campground near Lucky Peak Reservoir. Both the deputy and ranger were armed and in uniform. Passing through several other camping areas, they walked down a marked trail to Beck's campsite. The campsite was within a camping area designated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The door on Beck's tent was wide open, and the tent was nearly falling over. The deputy observed Beck and his girlfriend sleeping in the tent. The deputy discovered a beer can while walking near the tent. The beer can was located to the side or rear of Beck's tent and near a tree, which was approximately six to seven feet from the trail. The beer can was smashed, contained several puncture holes, and had a burnt residue on it and what appeared to be a marijuana stem. Upon picking up the beer can, the deputy could smell the odor of burnt marijuana.

The deputy called to Beck and his girlfriend to wake up. Beck's girlfriend awoke, and after she was prompted by the deputy, she roused Beck. The deputy was familiar with Beck because he had talked to Beck about marijuana use the previous night. The deputy directed Beck to exit the tent and, after Beck became belligerent, instructed Beck to sit in a camping chair at the front of the tent for officer safety. The ranger described Beck as being very upset at being awoken and at the deputy for returning after speaking with him the night before. Beck's emotions were described as going back and forth from laughter to shouting, then back to friendliness. The ranger testified that from his training and experience, he believed Beck was intoxicated. Without providing Miranda[1] warnings, the deputy began to question Beck about the beer can. The deputy recounted their previous discussion, and asked if Beck knew about the beer can. Beck denied possession or knowledge of the beer can several times. He gave differing accounts regarding the presence of the beer can, including that ...


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