Gladden v. State, 031319 MDSCA, 1814-2017

Docket Nº:1814-2017
Opinion Judge:ZARNOCH, J.
Party Name:KEITH GLADDEN v. STATE OF MARYLAND
Judge Panel:Meredith, Kehoe, Zarnoch, Robert A. (Senior Judge, Specially Assigned), JJ.
Case Date:March 13, 2019
Court:Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
 
FREE EXCERPT

KEITH GLADDEN

v.

STATE OF MARYLAND

No. 1814-2017

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

March 13, 2019

Circuit Court for Baltimore City Case No. 117086001

Meredith, Kehoe, Zarnoch, Robert A. (Senior Judge, Specially Assigned), JJ.

OPINION [*]

ZARNOCH, J.

Appellant Keith Gladden ("Gladden") was pulled over in Baltimore City while riding as a passenger in a vehicle that sideswiped a parked car. A search of the vehicle then yielded a pistol. Gladden challenges his firearm conviction as the fruit of an illegal search. Finding no constitutional or other legal infirmity, we affirm the judgment of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Around 8:30 p.m. on March 1, 2017, Baltimore Police Department officers pulled a vehicle over on the 700 block of North Rose Street after observing it sideswipe (without stopping) a parked car's side mirror.

Immediately after pulling the vehicle over, the officers approached to ask the driver and her four passengers for their ID's.1 When asked for his ID, Gladden, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, did not comply in a simple or straightforward manner. Rather, Gladden fumbled around in his seat, fidgeted with a jacket, and turned his back toward the officers when he claimed to be searching for his ID. As Officer Norman Jones would later testify (and as police body camera footage would reinforce), Gladden appeared "discombobulated" and "extremely nervous" during the encounter-so much so the officers ultimately asked him to exit the vehicle. At that point, Officer Christopher Mumey, who had been present for the entire stop, began searching through a jacket that was left on the passenger seat where Gladden had been sitting. Officer Mumey testified that while manipulating the jacket, he felt, through a pocket, a heavy object that felt like the shape of a firearm. Shining his flashlight into the pocket, Officer Mumey saw a pistol grip wrapped in black electrical tape. This prompted Officer Mumey to walk toward Gladden and say, "Don't move," while simultaneously telling the other officers to put Gladden in handcuffs. When Gladden attempted to run away, the officers detained him and handcuffed him. Officer Mumey then continued searching through the jacket on the passenger seat, retrieving the pistol.

Gladden filed a motion to suppress any evidence seized through (1) an unlawful initial stop, and (2) a subsequent unlawful search and seizure. The suppression court denied Gladden's motion, finding (1) the initial traffic stop was valid, and (2) there was probable cause for the vehicle...

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