Jones v. State, 55598

Citation565 S.W.2d 934
Decision Date24 May 1978
Docket NumberNo. 2,No. 55598,55598,2
PartiesJohn Turner JONES, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee
CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas

Howard G. Wilson, Mesquite, for appellant.

Henry Wade, Dist. Atty., Fred C. McDaniel, Rider Scott and Brady Sparks, Asst. Dist. Attys., Dallas, Jim D. Vollers, State's Atty., Austin, for the State.

Before ONION, P. J., and DALLY and VOLLERS, JJ.

OPINION

ONION, Presiding Judge.

This is an appeal from a conviction for aggravated robbery where the punishment was assessed by the jury at sixty-five (65) years' confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections.

At about 6:00 p. m. on October 2, 1975, the manager of the Robert Hall Department Store on Greenville Avenue in Dallas was robbed, at gunpoint, by five people. The manager was badly beaten and $325.00 was taken. Shortly thereafter the police were called and a description of the suspects and their car was broadcast over the police radio. About 6:30 p. m. a car matching the description of the get-away car was seen just after it had been parked by some apartments. A few minutes later the car was seen leaving the apartment parking lot with three people in it. These three people matched the descriptions received from the Robert Hall Store and they were stopped and arrested.

It was ascertained from questioning at least one of the suspects at the police station that appellant and another person had participated in the robbery, that he was located in a certain apartment near where the suspects were arrested, that he was armed, and that he might attempt to flee. An attempt to find a magistrate at City Hall to obtain a warrant proved fruitless because it was then about 9:15 p. m.

Two officers went to the address given them and knocked on appellant's door. He opened it a few inches, but attempted to shut it when one officer announced they were police officers. The officers recognized appellant from the description given them by the suspects in custody and the witnesses to the robbery. They pushed the door open and arrested appellant. A loaded pistol was observed on the breakfast bar a few feet from appellant.

One of the officers immediately went into the hallway to the two bedrooms in the apartment to look for the other unapprehended robber or any other person who might be a danger to him or his partner. He looked into the bedrooms through the opened doorways and in appellant's bedroom saw another pistol on top of the nightstand. When he went to get this pistol he observed in an open drawer of the nightstand a lot of change, some of which was in bank rolls, and some personal papers of appellant. A search of appellant revealed he had on him a ten dollar bill and thirty dollar bills.

Appellant unsuccessfully attempted to suppress the pistols and money found on him and in his apartment. He contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress because no probable cause existed for his arrest and the search of his apartment, no warrant was obtained for his arrest or the search, and that the search of his apartment, even if the arrest was lawful, exceeded the limits of a search incident to an arrest.

It is well established that probable cause to arrest exists where the facts and circumstances within the knowledge of the arresting officer and of which he has reasonably trustworthy information would warrant a reasonable and prudent man in believing that a particular person has committed or is committing a crime. Hooper v. State, 516 S.W.2d 941 (Tex.Cr.App.1974); Jones v. State, 493 S.W.2d 933 (Tex.Cr.App.1973); Brown v. State, 481 S.W.2d 106 (Tex.Cr.App.1972).

Here the arresting officer had the physical description of appellant given by the persons at the scene of the robbery. This description was corroborated by one of the participants in the robbery who was cooperating freely with the police and who also supplied the name of appellant and the address where he was located. When appellant opened his door to the police officer's knock, he was recognized by the arresting officer from the descriptions given by the suspect in custody and the witnesses to the robbery. Under the circumstances, we find the officer had probable cause to arrest appellant.

Further, we find exigent circumstances to justify the failure of the officers to obtain a warrant. It was about 9:00 p. m., only some three hours after the robbery and about two hours after three of the five robbers had been arrested in close proximity to appellant's apartment, when the police were able to ascertain the name and location of appellant from one of...

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43 cases
  • Fearance v. State
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas
    • December 7, 1988
    ...seized because they were in plain view of the immediate area of the bathroom during the lawful arrest of the appellant. Jones v. State, 565 S.W.2d 934 (Tex.Cr.App.1978). Officer Barber testified that he then took steps to determine if there was anyone else in the apartment who could endange......
  • Douds v. State
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    ...[Panel Op.] 1979) (officer testimony that “[i]t would have taken between sixty and ninety minutes to obtain the warrant”); Jones v. State, 565 S.W.2d 934, 936 (Tex.Crim.App. [Panel Op.] 1978) (“The arresting officer had fifteen years of experience and testified that he knew it was unlikely ......
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    ...committing a crime. Brown v. State, supra, at 110; see also Lewis v. State, 598 S.W.2d 280, 284 (Tex.Crim.App.1980); Jones v. State, 565 S.W.2d 934, 935 (Tex.Crim.App.1978). However, the mere inarticulable hunch, suspicion or good faith of the officer is insufficient to constitute probable ......
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    ...... The State is correct as far as it goes. Contraband seen in the open is subject to seizure by police. Jones v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 565 S.W.2d 934; Clark v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 548 S.W.2d 888; Evans v. State, Tex.Cr.App., 530 S.W.2d 932. However, before the plain view doctrine may be relied on, it must be shown that the officer had a right to be where he was at the time of his observation. . ......
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    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Texas Criminal Lawyer's Handbook. Volume 2 - 2015 Contents
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