424 F.2d 1037 (5th Cir. 1970), 27806, United States v. Rash

Docket Nº:27806.
Citation:424 F.2d 1037
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Marion Junior RASH, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:April 09, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 1037

424 F.2d 1037 (5th Cir. 1970)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Marion Junior RASH, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 27806.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

April 9, 1970

Nelson S. Hargrove, Houston, Tex., for appellant.

Anthony J. P. Farris, U.S. Atty., James R. Gough, Asst. U.S. Atty., Houston, Tex., Russell W. Neisig, Ray E. Moses, Asst. U.S. Attys., Houston, Tex., for appellee.

Before WISDOM, SIMPSON and CLARK, Circuit Judges.

SIMPSON, Circuit Judge:

The record reveals that the appellant Rash followed a Mr. Gardner (a co-defendant who was separately tried) in a separate automobile to an auto-auction business lot in Houston, Texas. Ostensibly, Rash was to provide transportation if the Pontiac driven by Gardner was sold. A prospective purchaser, Mr. Belcher, requested that the status of the Pontiac be checked by the attending policeman, Officer White. He discovered through the National Crime Information Center (N.C.I.C.) that the Pontiac had been reported as stolen. White then arrested Gardner and Rash for stealing the Pontiac. Subsequent search and investigation revealed that the Ford driven by Rash was also stolen. The sole issue

Page 1038

raised on appeal is whether White had probable cause to arrest Rash for stealing the Pontiac. The point was properly preserved by motion to suppress the evidence found in the search of the Ford.

The issue of probable cause poses the question of whether the arresting officer 'possess knowledge of facts and circumstances gained from reasonably trustworthy sources of information sufficient to justify a man of reasonable caution and prudence in believing that the arrested person has committed or is committing an offense'. Miller v. United States, 5 Cir. 1966, 356 F.2d 63, 66; see also Beck v. Ohio, 1964, 379 U.S. 89, 85 S.Ct. 223, 13 L.Ed.2d 142. Turning as it does on Officer White's evaluation of the reasonable inferences from the facts known to him, the question presented is a close one. We determine for reasons indicated below that White had probable cause to arrest Rash.

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