Friday, June 29, 2012

Defendant was Unlawfully Seized After Looking Into Car

US v. Dell, No. 11-4078 (Utah), 6/28/12 (unpublished) - Grant of motion to suppress evidence because of unreasonable seizure affirmed. Holloway was joined by Hartz; Holmes penned a lengthy dissent. Defendant and female companion are looking into windows of car lawfully parked on the street late one afternoon when cop patrolling neighborhood drives by. Defendant walks away, up the street and in same direction as cop, and female somewhat hesitantly follows him. Cop gets to corner, turns around, drives back down street, stops in the street, and says to defendant "hey, come here." Defendant complies, and about a half hour later is arrested for felon in possession. District court not impresses by cop's assertion that the neighborhood was a high crime area, and that defendant's and female's behavior was suspicious. The panel majority deferred to the district court's assessment of the cop's testimony, and was troubled by the dissent's independent fact finding that would have found reasonable suspicion to justify the seizure.