Wednesday, January 04, 2012

OK for Officers ot Create Exigent Circumstances Justifying Entry

U.S. v. Hendrix, 2011 WL 6358522 (12/20/11) (Okl.) (Published) - A demonstration of the consequences of the recent decision in Kentucky v. King, 131 S. Ct. 1849 (2011). Informant said the defendant was selling meth from room 327 of a motel in town. An officer knocked on the door eventually identifying himself as an officer in response to an inquiry from a woman inside the room. Officers hear people moving, doors opening and closing and a toilet flushing. These sounds indicated people were trying to destroy evidence, so in that exigent circumstance officers entered the room. When they entered, the officers had probable cause based on the confidential informant's self-inculpatory statements and provision of various details, the confirmatory facts that the informant had meth on his person and the motel had a room 327 that was occupied, and the commotion following the officer's announcement of his identity. Under King, it was okay that the officers created the exigency because they did not threaten to engage in conduct that violated the 4th Amendment or threaten to enter without permission.