Bailey v. State , CR–07–1673.

CourtAlabama Court of Criminal Appeals
Writing for the CourtKELLUM, Judge.
Citation67 So.3d 145
PartiesJames W. BAILEYv.STATE of Alabama.
Docket NumberCR–07–1673.
Decision Date25 September 2009

67 So.3d 145

STATE of Alabama.


Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama.

Aug. 7, 2009.Rehearing Denied Sept. 25, 2009.Certiorari Quashed Jan. 14, 2011

Alabama Supreme Court 1090043.

[67 So.3d 148]

Allen K. Mitchell, Dothan, for appellant.Troy King, atty. gen., and Andy Scott Poole, asst. atty. gen., for appellee.KELLUM, Judge.

The appellant, James W. Bailey, was convicted of trafficking methamphetamine, a violation of § 13A–12–231(6), Ala.Code 1975; unlawful manufacturing of a controlled

[67 So.3d 149]

substance in the first degree, a violation of § 13A–12–218, Ala.Code 1975; and possession of precursor chemicals, a violation of § 20–2–190, Ala.Code 1975. The circuit court sentenced Bailey as a habitual felony offender to life imprisonment on the trafficking and unlawful-manufacturing convictions, and to 18 years' imprisonment on the possession-of-precursor-chemicals conviction. The court ordered Bailey to pay $750 to the crime victims compensation fund for each conviction, as well as all statutorily mandated fines and assessments. The court ordered that Bailey's sentences for trafficking and manufacturing would run concurrently and his sentence for possession of precursor chemicals would run consecutively to the other two sentences. This appeal followed.

Bailey first contends that the circuit court abused its discretion by denying his motion to suppress evidence seized under a search warrant that was determined by the court to be invalid. Specifically, Bailey contends that the search of his house pursuant to an invalid warrant amounted to a warrantless search without probable cause or exigent circumstances and thus violated his constitutional rights.

The evidence adduced at the suppression hearing indicated the following pertinent facts. In December 2004, Officer Scott Langley, who at that time was a deputy with the Houston County Sheriff's Department, requested a search warrant for a residence based on information received from other investigators and an informant that Bailey and a female were in possession of methamphetamine and chemicals used in manufacturing methamphetamine. Further, Allen Hendrickson, an investigator with the Henry County Sheriff's Department, advised Officer Langley that he had smelled a strong chemical odor associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine at the residence while he was conducting an interview with Bailey and the female. After compiling the above evidence in an affidavit form, Officer Langley telephoned Judge C. Lawson Little to secure a warrant. Officer Langley testified that he based his request for the warrant on reliable information and that he had filed the warrant in good faith. According to Officer Langley, Judge Little did not swear him in before hearing the evidence in support of the search-warrant request. Officer Langley explained that he appeared before Judge Little when he made the return on the search warrant and that Judge Little signed the warrant at that time.

Judge Little had no independent recollection of issuing the search warrant. Judge Little acknowledged that he authorized warrants by telephone. Judge Little explained that he usually made the officer requesting the warrant tell him the basis of the affidavit for the search warrant and he would then determine if the basis offered was sufficient. Judge Little testified that he did not always swear in the affiant and that he could not remember whether he did in this case.

Based on the evidence received at the suppression hearing, the circuit court held that the search warrant was invalid. However, the circuit court concluded that the evidence seized upon execution of the search warrant was admissible under the good-faith exception under the exclusionary rule. “The good faith exception provides that when officers acting in good faith, that is, in objectively reasonable reliance on a warrant issued by a neutral, detached magistrate, conduct a search and the warrant is found to be invalid, the evidence need not be excluded.”

[67 So.3d 150]

Rivers v. State, 695 So.2d 260, 262 (Ala.Crim.App.1997).

In United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 104 S.Ct. 3405, 82 L.Ed.2d 677 (1984), a case relied on by the circuit court, the United States Supreme Court recognized four circumstances in which the good-faith exception was inapplicable: (1) when the magistrate or judge relies on information in an affidavit that the affiant knew was false or would have known was false except for his reckless disregard of the truth; (2) when the magistrate wholly abandons his judicial role and fails to act in a neutral and detached manner; (3) when the warrant is based on an affidavit so lacking an indicia of probable cause as to render official belief in its existence entirely unreasonable; and (4) when the warrant is so facially deficient that the executing officer cannot reasonably presume it to be valid.

Bailey argues on appeal that Judge Little's conduct and the conduct of Officer Langley do not support the application of the good-faith exception in the instant case. Bailey argues that Judge Little abandoned his judicial role and failed to act in a neutral and detached manner. However, the evidence presented at the suppression hearing establishes that none of the circumstances set forth in Leon were present in this case to negate the good-faith exception. Judge Little required Officer Langley to set forth the specific evidence upon which he was basing the request for the search warrant. Only after hearing that evidence did Judge Little agree to issue the search warrant. Judge Little's failure to swear in Officer Langley before issuing the search warrant does not, in and of itself, evidence an abandonment of a judicial role and a lack of neutrality. The evidence does not support a conclusion that Judge Little wholly abandoned his judicial role. See Leon, supra. Therefore, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion to suppress.

We note that the dissent's interpretation of the Supreme Court's holding in Leon effectively broadens the limitations to the good-faith exception created by the Supreme Court and narrows the applicability of the good-faith exception. The dissent maintains that the warrant lacks “ ‘indicia of probable cause’ by virtue of the fact that it was not based on sworn testimony,” 67 So.3d at 159, and, therefore, falls within one of the limitations to the good-faith exception. However, in Ex parte Green, 15 So.3d 489 (Ala.2008), and cases cited therein—cases relied on by the dissent—the appellate courts declined to apply the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule because the affidavits used to obtain the search warrants failed to contain sufficient information to allow a determination that the facts alleged in the affidavit were current rather than remote. The dissent cites Anderson v. State, 445 So.2d 974 (Ala.Crim.App.1983), in support of its proposition; however, Anderson was decided by this Court before the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Leon.


Bailey further contends that he was denied his right to a speedy trial as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Specifically, Bailey argues that the 40–month delay between his arrest and his trial was prejudicial and resulted in the denial of his right to a speedy trial.

In determining whether a defendant has been denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial, we apply the test announced by the United States Supreme Court in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972). We consider the following four factors: (1) the

[67 So.3d 151]

length of the delay; (2) the reasons for the delay; (3) the defendant's assertion of his right to a speedy trial; and (4) the prejudice to the defendant.

The Alabama Supreme Court in Ex parte Walker, 928 So.2d 259, 263 (Ala.2005), stated:

“ ‘A single factor is not necessarily determinative, because this is a “balancing test, in which the conduct of both the prosecution and the defense are weighed.” Ex parte Clopton, 656 So.2d [1243] at 1245 [ (Ala.1985) ] (quoting Barker, 407 U.S. at 530). We examine each factor in turn.”

928 So.2d at 263.

A. Length of the delay. Bailey was arrested on December 22, 2004, indicted on April 22, 2005, and tried May 12, 2008. The delay in this case was almost 41 months.

“In Doggett v. United States, the United States Supreme Court explained that the first factor—length of delay—‘is actually a double enquiry.’ 505 U.S. 647, 651, 112 S.Ct. 2686, 120 L.Ed.2d 520 (1992). The first inquiry under this factor is whether the length of the delay is ‘ “presumptively prejudicial.” 505 U.S. at 652, 112 S.Ct. 2686 (quoting Barker, 407 U.S. at 530–31, 92 S.Ct. 2182). A finding that the length of delay is presumptively prejudicial ‘triggers' an examination of the remaining three Barker factors. 505 U.S. at 652 n. 1, 112 S.Ct. 2686 (‘[A]s the term is used in this threshold context, “presumptive prejudice” does not necessarily indicate a statistical probability of prejudice; it simply marks the point at which courts deem the delay unreasonable enough to trigger the Barker enquiry.’). See also Roberson v. State, 864 So.2d 379, 394 (Ala.Crim.App.2002).

“In Alabama, ‘[t]he length of delay is measured from the date of the indictment or the date of the issuance of an arrest warrant—whichever is earlier—to the date of the trial.’ Roberson, 864 So.2d at 394. Cf. § 15–3–7, Ala.Code 1975 (‘A prosecution may be commenced within the meaning of this chapter by finding an indictment, the issuing of a warrant or by binding over the offender.’); Rule 2.1, Ala. R.Crim. P. (‘All criminal proceedings shall be commenced either by indictment or by complaint.’).”

928 So.2d at 263–64.

In the instant case, the almost 41–month delay was presumptively prejudicial. See State v. Van Wooten, 952 So.2d 1176 (Ala.Crim.App.2006) (29–month delay was presumptively prejudicial); State v. Stovall, 947 So.2d 1149...

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  • Callen v. State, CR–13–0099
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
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    ...and (4) when the warrant is so facially deficient that the executing officer cannot reasonably presume it to be valid." Bailey v. State, 67 So.3d 145, 149–50 (Ala. Crim. App. 2009). There is no indication in the record that any of the four cited circumstances that would invalidate the appli......
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    ...and (4) when the warrant is so facially deficient that the executing officer cannot reasonably presume it to be valid."Bailey v. State, 67 So.3d 145, 149–50 (Ala.Crim.App.2009). "In the absence of an allegation that the magistrate abandoned his detached and neutral role, suppression is appr......
  • Watson v. State, CR-18-0377
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    ...detached magistrate, conduct a search and the warrant is found to be invalid, the evidence need not be excluded.'" Bailey v. State, 67 So. 3d 145, 149 (Ala. Crim. App. 2009) (quoting Rivers v. State, 695 So. 2d 260, 262 (Ala. Crim. App. 1997)). There are only four circumstances in which the......
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    • 10 Enero 2020
    ...detached magistrate, conduct a search and the warrant is found to be invalid, the evidence need not be excluded.'" Bailey v. State, 67 So. 3d 145, 149 (Ala. Crim. App. 2009) (quoting Rivers v. State, 695 So. 2d 260, 262 (Ala. Crim. App. 1997)). There are only four circumstances in which the......
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