Friday, December 8, 2006

Purnell v. State (Ct. of Special Appeals)

Filed December 4, 2006--Opinion by Judge Arrie W.Davis.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution; New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, 455–56, 101 S. Ct. 2860, 2861–62 (1981); Thornton v. U.S., 541 U.S. 615, 617-18, 124 S. Ct. 2127, 2129 (2004); Wyoming v. Houghton, 526 U.S. 295, 305-06, 119 S. Ct. 1297, 143 L. ed. 2d 408 (1999); Although Maryland has yet to extend the Belton/Thornton bright–line specifically to the search of items belonging to a passenger situated several feet from the vehicle arguably outside of the Chimel [v. California, 395 U.S. 752, 89 S. Ct. 2034, 23 L. Ed. 2d 685 (1969)] reach, who is neither under arrest or suspected of criminal activity at the time of the search and who neither poses a threat to the officer's safety or is capable of destroying evidence, in light of the holding in Thornton, that "Belton allows police to search the passenger compartment of a vehicle incident to a lawful custodial arrest of both 'occupants' and 'recent occupants,'" and "In any event, while an arrestee's status as a "recent occupant" may turn on his temporal or spatial relationship to the car at the time of the arrest and search, it certainly does not turn on whether he was inside or outside the car at the moment that the officer first initiated contact with him," the motions court properly denied appellant's motion to dismiss evidence of cocaine retrieved from twelve individualized baggies within small recyclable grocery bag located in appellant's coat that was on the rear passenger side seat of vehicle.

The full opinion is available in WordPerfect and PDF.

No comments: