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State v. Dahl

Court of Appeals of Idaho

June 22, 2017

STATE OF IDAHO, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
BENJAMIN J. DAHL, aka BENJAMIN JOHN DAHL, Defendant-Appellant.

         2017 Opinion No. 30

Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Thomas J. Ryan, District Judge.

         Order denying motion to suppress and judgments of conviction for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of heroin, affirmed.

          Eric D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Andrea W. Reynolds, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant. Andrea W. Reynolds argued.

          Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Lori A. Fleming, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent. Lori A. Fleming argued.

          WALTERS, Judge Pro Tem

         Benjamin J. Dahl appeals from his judgments of conviction entered upon his conditional guilty pleas to one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, Idaho Code § 37-2732(a)(1)(A), and one count of possession of a controlled substance, heroin, I.C. § 37-2732(c)(1). Dahl argues the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress. Because the police officers had consent to search Dahl's bedroom, we uphold the district court's denial of the motion to suppress and affirm the judgments of conviction.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Two officers arrived at a home to serve a felony arrest warrant upon an individual. The subject of the arrest warrant did not live at the home, but the officers' last contact with the subject was at this residence. An eight-year-old girl answered the door, and the officers asked the child if the subject of the arrest warrant was present. The child responded: "Who?" One officer then asked if Dahl was home and the child responded: "I don't know." The officer asked: "Can you go look for me?" The child closed the door and came back approximately two minutes later and said: "I think he is still sleeping." The following conversation took place:

Officer: Okay, is your parents up?[inaudible]
Officer: Okay, can you open the door for officer safety reasons?

         Child: Yeah.

Officer: We just need to talk to one adult. Can you go get one of your parents for me, please?

         Child: Yeah.

Officer: May I come in?
Child: Yeah.
Officer: Ok.

         One officer entered the home with the permission of the child while the second officer remained outside. The officer stood in the entryway of the home while the child went to get one of her parents or Dahl. Approximately two minutes after the officer entered the residence, Dahl's mother came to speak with the officer. The officer asked if the subject of the arrest warrant was in the home. The mother responded: "No, he doesn't come by very often." The officer informed the mother that they had a felony arrest warrant for the subject and the officer stated:

If he is found here in this home, then people could be arrested for felony harboring. And I know that you don't want that, but, I just want to make sure that he is not here. So if [inaudible] is not here, he was here with your son, [Dahl]. Do you mind if we go up there and at least clear to make sure that he is not here?

The district court found the mother consented to the officer's request.

         The mother and the officer walked up the stairs to Dahl's bedroom. The mother knocked on the door and said: "[Dahl], the police would like to see your room, please." Dahl opened his bedroom door and the following conversation took place:

Officer: Hey [Dahl], how are you?
Dahl: Good, how about you?
Officer: I'm not too bad. Hey man, I'm here for [the subject of the arrest warrant]. Where is he at?
Dahl: [He] is not here.
Officer: Okay, do you mind if I look? [inaudible] ...

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