State v. McBaine, No. 32368.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Idaho
Writing for the CourtLansing
Citation144 Idaho 130,157 P.3d 1101
Docket NumberNo. 32368.
Decision Date22 March 2007
PartiesSTATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Richard Lee McBAINE, Defendant-Appellant.
157 P.3d 1101
144 Idaho 130
STATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
Richard Lee McBAINE, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 32368.
Court of Appeals of Idaho.
March 22, 2007.

[157 P.3d 1102]

Molly J. Huskey, State Appellate Public Defender; Elizabeth A. Allred, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Jessica M. Lorello, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.

LANSING, Judge.


Richard Lee McBaine appeals from the district court's order denying his motion to suppress evidence found in a search of his home that was conducted pursuant to his oral and written consents. The issue presented is whether McBaine's consents were tainted by

157 P.3d 1103

an earlier unlawful entry of the home by a police officer.

I.
BACKGROUND

Ada County Deputies Ron Santucci and Cliff Exley were dispatched to McBaine's residence at approximately 7:18 p.m. in response to a report from an unidentified caller that McBaine was manufacturing methamphetamine in his home. Deputies arrived at the trailer park where McBaine's residence was located at about 7:39 p.m. and made contact with fourteen-year-old J.L. who was standing outside and who identified herself as the calling party. J.L. told the deputies that she had called about the "meth lab" at the request of thirteen-year-old K.Q., who was concerned because her stepfather "had some kind of lab or was making drugs in their house." K.Q. lived with her five-year-old sister, A.Q., her mother, Rosa Quinton, and her mother's boyfriend, McBaine. Deputies Santucci and Exley then went to McBaine's residence to investigate.

When the deputies knocked on McBaine's door, he came outside to speak to them. When McBaine opened the door, Deputy Santucci could see a female, later identified as Quinton, standing inside. Deputy Santucci told Quinton he would like to come inside and talk to her. McBaine responded that he would prefer they talk to Quinton outside. Deputy Santucci said he would rather speak to Quinton separately. Neither McBaine nor Quinton gave Santucci permission to enter, but he nevertheless stepped four or five feet inside the trailer to where Quinton was standing. K.Q. and A.Q. were also inside, seated on a sofa, near Quinton.

While Deputy Exley was interviewing McBaine outside, Deputy Santucci told Quinton they were investigating a report of a meth lab and they were worried about the children living in that environment. Quinton denied the existence of a lab. Deputy Santucci then asked K.Q. to come outside with him, which she did. Once outside and away from Quinton and McBaine, K.Q. told Deputy Santucci that she had seen a meth lab in McBaine's and Quinton's bedroom, and she specifically identified some of the items she saw. K.Q. also said that McBaine had "been staying up all night cooking meth."

After speaking with K.Q., Deputy Santucci went back to talk to Deputy Exley and McBaine. Deputy Santucci told McBaine that they wanted to look inside the residence to make sure there was no meth lab, particularly because children should not be living in that environment. According to the deputies' subsequent testimony, which was accepted by the district court, McBaine gave the deputies oral consent to search the residence. During the search, however, the deputies were unable to gain access to McBaine's bedroom because the door was locked. McBaine said he had accidentally locked the bedroom door and could not get in. Because the officers were most interested in the contents of the master bedroom, Deputy Santucci contacted the narcotics supervisor for assistance. Detective Javier Bustos was sent to the scene, arriving at approximately 8:07 p.m.

Detective Bustos testified that he spoke with McBaine for approximately ten minutes, during which time he informed McBaine of his Miranda1 rights and told him that, based on the information provided by the deputies, Bustos would attempt to obtain a search warrant or, alternatively, McBaine could allow access to the bedroom. McBaine then signed a written form giving consent to a search of the home, and he unlocked the bedroom door. A search of the room revealed evidence of a methamphetamine lab. McBaine admitted he had been "cooking" methamphetamine for approximately one year.

After the State charged McBaine with trafficking in methamphetamine, Idaho Code § 37-2732B(a), and manufacturing a controlled substance where children are present, I.C. § 37-2737A, he filed a motion to suppress the evidence found in his home. The district court denied the motion. McBaine thereafter pleaded guilty, reserving his right to appeal the order denying his suppression motion. On appeal McBaine argues that the

157 P.3d 1104

evidence should have been suppressed because his consents to the search of his home were products of Deputy Santucci's initial unjustified entry and were involuntary.

II.
ANALYSIS

In reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress evidence, we accept the trial court's findings of fact if they are supported by substantial evidence, but we freely review the application of constitutional principles to the facts as found. State v. Abeyta, 131 Idaho 704, 708, 963 P.2d 387, 391 (Ct. App.1998).

A. Unlawful Entry

The sanctity and privacy of a home is protected by the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, absent circumstances that fit within a recognized exception to the warrant requirement, evidence acquired through the warrantless search of a home must be suppressed. State v. Revenaugh, 133 Idaho 774, 776, 992 P.2d 769, 771 (1999); State v. Johnson, 110 Idaho 516, 522-23, 716 P.2d 1288, 1294-95 (1986).

Here, there were multiple entries into McBaine's home by officers. The first occurred when Deputy Santucci entered without permission and briefly spoke with McBaine's wife. This initial entry was unquestionably unlawful. Deputy Santucci entered without permission, and the State concedes on appeal that there is no exception to the warrant requirement that applies to this entry. The district court found that the later entries were made with McBaine's consent. A defendant's voluntary consent to a search relieves government agents of the warrant requirement. State v. Lafferty, 139 Idaho 336, 339, 79 P.3d 157, 160 (Ct.App.2003); State v. Fee, 135 Idaho 857, 862, 26 P.3d 40, 45 (Ct.App.2001). McBaine contends, however, that his oral and written consents to search the home were tainted by Deputy Santucci's earlier illegal entry, and therefore evidence found during the consent searches must be suppressed. We conclude that the evidence presented on McBaine's suppression motion shows no taint or causal link between Deputy Santucci's brief illegal entry and McBaine's subsequent consents, and therefore the unlawful intrusion does not require suppression of evidence found in the consent search.

The exclusionary rule calls for suppression of evidence that is gained through unconstitutional governmental activity. Segura v. United States, 468 U.S. 796, 815, 104 S.Ct. 3380, 3390, 82 L.Ed.2d 599, 615 (1984); State v. Wigginton, 142 Idaho 180, 184, 125 P.3d 536, 540 (Ct.App.2005). This prohibition against use of derivative evidence extends to the indirect as well as the direct fruit of the government's misconduct. Segura, 468 U.S. at 804, 104 S.Ct. at 3385, 82 L.Ed.2d at 608; Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 484, 83 S.Ct. 407, 415, 9 L.Ed.2d 441, 452 (1963). Nevertheless, "[s]uppression is not justified unless `the challenged evidence is in some sense the product of illegal governmental activity.'" Segura, 468 U.S. at 815, 104 S.Ct. at 3391, 82 L.Ed.2d at 615 (quoting United States v. Crews, 445 U.S. 463, 471, 100 S.Ct. 1244, 1250, 63 L.Ed.2d 537, 545 (1980)). That is, "evidence will not be excluded as `fruit' unless the illegality is at least the `but for' cause of the discovery of the evidence." Id. Where a defendant has moved to suppress evidence allegedly gained through unconstitutional police conduct, the State bears the ultimate burden of persuasion to prove that the challenged evidence is untainted, but the defendant bears an initial burden of going forward with evidence to show a factual nexus between the illegality and the State's acquisition of the evidence. Alderman v. United States, 394 U.S. 165, 183, 89 S.Ct. 961, 972, 22 L.Ed.2d 176, 192 (1969); Wigginton, 142 Idaho at 184, 125 P.3d at 540; State v. Babb, 136 Idaho 95, 98, 29 P.3d 406, 409 (Ct.App.2001). This requires a prima facie showing that "the evidence sought to be suppressed would not have come to light but for the government's unconstitutional conduct." Wigginton, 142 Idaho at 184, 125 P.3d at 540 (quoting United States v. Nava-Ramirez, 210 F.3d 1128, 1131 (10th Cir.2000)). See also Nardone v. United States, 308 U.S. 338, 341, 60 S.Ct. 266, 267, 84 L.Ed. 307, 311

157 P.3d 1105

(1939). By expressing the query as a "but for" test, we do not imply that a defendant bears the burden to prove a negative—that the State would not or could not have discovered the evidence on any set of hypothetical circumstances that could have arisen absent the illegal search. Rather, the defendant need only show that, on the events that did take place, the discovery of the evidence was a product or result of the unlawful police conduct.

Where a defendant has not shown the requisite nexus between the unlawful police activity and the challenged evidence, suppression must be denied. Crews, 445 U.S. 463, 100 S.Ct. 1244, 63 L.Ed.2d 537. An illustrative case is United States v. King, 222 F.3d 1280 (10th Cir.2000) where police conducted a "protective sweep" search of the defendant's house while arresting him. During the sweep, officers saw a shotgun. They returned later with a search warrant and conducted a search that yielded other weapons, drugs, and paraphernalia. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that even if the protective sweep violated the Fourth Amendment, the defendant had shown no...

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18 practice notes
  • Tapp v. State, Docket No. 35536 (Idaho App. 3/31/2010), Docket No. 35536.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • March 31, 2010
    ...going forward with evidence to show a factual nexus between the illegal search and the State's acquisition of evidence. State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 133, 157 P.3d 1101, 1104 (Ct. App. 2007). This requires showing that the evidence sought to be suppressed would not have come to light but......
  • State v. Kapelle, No. 40475.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • July 24, 2014
    ...have discovered the evidence on any set of hypothetical circumstances that could have arisen absent the illegal search. State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 134, 157 P.3d 1101, 1105 (Ct.App.2007). Rather, the defendant need only show that, on the events that did take place, the discovery of the......
  • State v. Buhler, Docket No. 38362
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • November 27, 2012
    ...and the State's acquisition of the evidence. State v. Keene, 144 Idaho 915, 918, 174 P.3d 885, 888 (Ct. App. 2007); State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 133, 157 P.3d 1101, 1104 (Ct. App. 2007). Buhler has failed to identify a factual nexus between the illegality of the frisk or the Miranda vio......
  • State v. Kapelle, Docket No. 40475
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • July 24, 2014
    ...have discovered the evidence on any set of hypothetical circumstances that could have arisen absent the illegal search. State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 134, 157 P.3d 1101, 1105 (Ct. App. 2007). Rather, the defendant need only show that, on the events that did take place, the discovery of t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Tapp v. State, Docket No. 35536 (Idaho App. 3/31/2010), Docket No. 35536.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • March 31, 2010
    ...going forward with evidence to show a factual nexus between the illegal search and the State's acquisition of evidence. State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 133, 157 P.3d 1101, 1104 (Ct. App. 2007). This requires showing that the evidence sought to be suppressed would not have come to light but......
  • State v. Kapelle, No. 40475.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • July 24, 2014
    ...have discovered the evidence on any set of hypothetical circumstances that could have arisen absent the illegal search. State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 134, 157 P.3d 1101, 1105 (Ct.App.2007). Rather, the defendant need only show that, on the events that did take place, the discovery of the......
  • State v. Buhler, Docket No. 38362
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • November 27, 2012
    ...and the State's acquisition of the evidence. State v. Keene, 144 Idaho 915, 918, 174 P.3d 885, 888 (Ct. App. 2007); State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 133, 157 P.3d 1101, 1104 (Ct. App. 2007). Buhler has failed to identify a factual nexus between the illegality of the frisk or the Miranda vio......
  • State v. Kapelle, Docket No. 40475
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Idaho
    • July 24, 2014
    ...have discovered the evidence on any set of hypothetical circumstances that could have arisen absent the illegal search. State v. McBaine, 144 Idaho 130, 134, 157 P.3d 1101, 1105 (Ct. App. 2007). Rather, the defendant need only show that, on the events that did take place, the discovery of t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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