from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District,
State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Steven J. Hippler, District
of conviction for possession of methamphetamine, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Brian R.
Dickson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Mark W. Olson, Deputy
Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Edward Cox appeals from the judgment of conviction entered
upon his conditional guilty plea for possession of
methamphetamine in violation of Idaho Code § 37-2732(c).
Specifically, Cox appeals the district court's denial of
his motion to suppress. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
district court set forth the underlying facts after an
evidentiary hearing on Cox's motion to suppress:
On January 8, 2018, at approximately 1:48 a.m., Officer Jason
Green, with the Boise Police Department, was driving through
the parking lot of the Super 8 hotel in Boise when he noticed
what appeared to be a person sleeping in the driver's
seat of a running four-door sedan. Earlier, around 11:00 p.m.
on January 7, Officer Green had noticed the same car pull
into the parking lot and the occupant did not emerge from the
car. At approximately 12:30 a.m., Officer Green returned to
the parking lot and noticed the same car located in a
different parking spot. Thus, when he returned again at 1:48
a.m. to see the car in yet another parking spot with the
engine running, he decided to investigate. He had previously
been informed by Super 8 management that they did not wish to
have anyone sleeping in their parking lot. This is a known
high crime area and a common location of illegal drug
Officer Green called Officer Marshall Plaisted for
assistance. They both approached the car on foot and, while
standing at the door, Officer Green noticed the driver's
seat was down and a male, later identified as [Cox], lying
asleep in the driver's seat. He also noticed that there
was a small baseball bat with the hilt of the bat next to
[Cox's] hand as well as a large folding knife in between
his legs in his lap. While standing there, Officer Green
shined his flashlight inside of the vehicle and on [Cox], who
did not respond. Officer Johnson then arrived on scene to
assist. Officer Johnson stood at the front passenger side
door while Officer Plaisted stood at the rear driver's
Officer Green then knocked on the driver's side window
with his flashlight. [Cox] startled awake and opened the
driver's side door. Officer Green asked him to place his
hands on the steering wheel. [Cox] was quite excitable,
speaking quickly and acting agitated. Officer Green had to
continually remind [Cox] to keep his hands on the steering
wheel. [Cox] appeared to Officer Green as though he was under
the influence of a stimulant. Officer Green reached into the
vehicle to remove the knife from between [Cox's] legs.
Once Officer Green took the knife, he told [Cox] he was going
to remove him from the vehicle by holding his left hand.
Officer Green did so to prevent [Cox] from grabbing any
additional weapons, such as the baseball bat. [Cox] stepped
out while Officer Green was holding his left hand and, once
out, Officer Green then took [Cox's] right hand and held
both hands behind [Cox's] back while standing next to the
open driver's side door. Officer Green did not shut the
driver's side door after [Cox] exited, nor did [Cox] ask
him to shut the door or otherwise attempt to shut the door.
It is the practice of Boise Police Department officers to
"leave things as they lie," meaning that if the
officer opens a door or window to a vehicle, (s)he will
subsequently close it. If the detainee opens the door or
window, officers will leave it open unless asked to close it
by the detainee.
After Officer Green performed a pat search for weapons, he
had [Cox] walk to the front bumper of his patrol car. Once at
the patrol car, Officer Green obtained [Cox's]
information verbally and ran it through dispatch. While
Officer Green and [Cox] were standing next to his patrol
vehicle, Officer Plaisted walked his certified narcotic
detection canine, Geno, around the vehicle. Geno and Officer
Plaisted have been working together for four years, although
Officer Plaisted has been a certified canine handler for
seven years. From his experience working with Geno, Officer
Plaisted is familiar with Geno's changes in behavior when
he detects an odor of narcotics, including rapid sniffing,
head snapping toward the odor, closed mouth and drooling.
Geno's final response is to sit. To ensure that
Geno's sit is indeed a final response, Officer Plaisted
will attempt to direct Geno away from the odor. If Geno
remains seated, Officer Plaisted knows the sit is an alert
because Geno is trained to stay with the odor.
Here, Officer Plaisted approached [Cox's] vehicle with
Geno and he saw that it was still running, with all the
windows rolled up, the heater on, and the driver's door
open. He walked Geno to the passenger side of the vehicle[;]
Geno commenced an exterior sniff, moving in a
counter-clockwise direction while Officer Plaisted walked
beside him. As Geno rounded the front of the car, Geno pulled
hard on the leash towards the open door. Officer Plaisted
noticed a change in Geno's behavior at this point, as
Geno began drooling and sniffing quickly, with his mouth
closed and his head pulling toward the open door. Geno began
sniffing the driver's door pocket and sat down in the
area between the open door and the interior compartment.
Officer Plaisted attempted to redirect Geno's attention,
giving him ...