Stogner v. Com., No. 1999-CA-001064-MR.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Kentucky
Writing for the CourtJohnson
Citation35 S.W.3d 831
PartiesBonnie STOGNER, Appellant, v. COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 1999-CA-001064-MR.
Decision Date18 August 2000

Page 831

35 S.W.3d 831
Bonnie STOGNER, Appellant,
v.
COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky, Appellee.
No. 1999-CA-001064-MR.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
August 18, 2000.
Discretionary Review Denied February 14, 2001.

Page 832

Irvin J. Halbleib, Louisville, KY, for Appellant.

A.B. Chandler III, Attorney General, Michael L. Harned, Assistant Attorney General, Frankfort, KY, for Appellee.

BEFORE: HUDDLESTON, JOHNSON and KNOPF, Judges.

OPINION

JOHNSON, Judge.


Bonnie Stogner appeals from a judgment of conviction of the Muhlenberg Circuit Court that followed her conditional plea of guilty1 to criminal facilitation to the manufacture of methamphetamine2 and to the status offense of being a persistent felony offender in the second degree3 (PFO II). Stogner preserved for appeal the issue of whether the circuit court erred in denying her motion to suppress evidence following a search and seizure by the police. Having concluded that the trial court properly denied the motion to suppress, we affirm.

On the morning of December 8, 1998, at approximately 3:20 a.m., the Central City Police Department received a report concerning a shoplifting occurrence at the local Wal-Mart store. Officers Gayle Stewart, Wade Griggs, and Mike Garrett responded to the call. The night manager of the store told the officers that store employees had observed two people steal a Christmas tree and a plastic Santa Claus figure with a combined value of less than $300.4 He said the pair left the Wal-Mart premises in an older model light blue Ford Thunderbird traveling in an easterly direction toward Central City. Officer Stewart was familiar with Stogner and knew that she owned a blue Thunderbird and that she fit the physical description given by the store manager. The officers decided to go to Stogner's residence to investigate the theft.

Officer Stewart arrived at Stogner's residence at approximately 3:30 a.m. and observed that Officers Griggs and Garrett were already there. Officer Stewart saw Stogner and a white mate, later identified as Ricky Senay, exiting a light blue older model Thunderbird that was parked in the driveway near the rear of the house. As the officers approached the pair, they noticed a Christmas tree lying near the back door of the house. The police asked the suspects where they got the tree and they replied that they "took it" from Wal-Mart. The police placed Stogner and Senay under arrest for shoplifting and read them their Miranda rights.

Page 833

As the police were speaking with Stogner, they detected a strong smell of ether coming from the house. They also noticed on the back porch several cans of starting fluid and several antihistamine boxes. Based on their experience, the officers knew that these items could be used in the manufacture of the illegal controlled substance, methamphetamine.

The officers then asked Stogner if they could conduct a search of the residence. She said she would have to ask her husband and went inside. Upon returning a few minutes later, Stogner informed the police officers that they could not search the house.

After the police left the scene, Officer Stewart contacted the county attorney, who informed him that Stogner's husband, Michael Stogner, was wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant for bail jumping. When the police returned to Stogner's residence to arrest Michael Stogner, Clay Keeling came to the door. Keeling identified himself as the grandfather of Stogner's children from a previous marriage. He gave the police permission to enter the residence to search for Michael Stogner.

While the police unsuccessfully attempted to locate Michael Stogner, they discovered several other items commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine and smelled smoke coming from the garage. While Officer Griggs remained at the residence, Officers Stewart and Garrett left the premises in order to prepare an affidavit in support of a warrant to search the house. As he was preparing the affidavit, Officer Stewart received information from Officer Griggs that the dawn sunlight had allowed him to see in plain view in the back yard several other items regularly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. After obtaining a search warrant, the police seized 97 items during a search of the house and the yard.

On January 20, 1999, the Muhlenberg County grand jury indicted Stogner on one felony count of manufacturing methamphetamine5 and one count of being a persistent felony offender in the first degree (PFO I)6. Stogner filed a motion to suppress the evidence that had been seized during the execution of the search warrant on the grounds that the evidence had been discovered as a result of an illegal warrantless arrest. Following a hearing on March 9, 1999, where the trial court heard testimony from Officers Stewart and Griggs, the trial court denied the motion to suppress. The trial court ruled that the initial arrest of Stogner on the misdemeanor shoplifting charge was legal and that the search warrant was properly issued based upon information legally obtained by the police.

Following the trial court's ruling on the motion to suppress, Stogner entered a conditional guilty plea to the amended charges of criminal facilitation to the manufacture of methamphetamine and PFO II. The Commonwealth recommended a sentence of five years for the criminal facilitation to the manufacture of methamphetamine conviction that would be enhanced to seven years for the PFO II conviction. On April 27, 1999, the trial court, consistent with the Commonwealth's recommendation, entered a judgment sentencing Stogner to prison for seven years on the two convictions. This appeal followed.

Stogner presents a two-part argument in support of her claim that the trial court erred in denying her motion to suppress. First, she contends that her warrantless arrest for the misdemeanor theft offense7 was illegal because the theft

Page 834

was not committed in the officer's presence.8 She argues that since the arrest was illegal, the subsequent search and seizure of evidence by the police was unconstitutional in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Section 10 of the Kentucky Constitution. Stogner further asserts that since the impetus for the suppression of the evidence was her illegal arrest, it is of no consequence that the suspicious items were discovered in plain view or that the police officers had probable cause to support a search warrant. She claims that once the search and seizure was tainted by the illegal arrest, the obtaining of a search warrant did not cure the illegal status of the search and seizure.

There are several flaws in Stogner's argument. First, her reliance on...

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11 practice notes
  • Chrysalis House, Inc. v. Tackett, No. 2007-CA-002316-WC (Ky. App. 3/7/2008), No. 2007-CA-002316-WC
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • March 7, 2008
    ...the "the legislature is presumed to be aware of the existing law at the time of enactment of a later statute." Stogner v. Commonwealth, 35 S.W.3d 831, 835 (Ky.App. 2000). See also St. Clair v. Commonwealth, 140 S.W.3d 510, 570 (Ky. 2004); Shewmaker v. Commonwealth, 30 S.W.3d 807, 809 (Ky.Ap......
  • Johnson v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, NO. 2002-CA-000630-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • May 16, 2003
    ...when an officer is legally in any location, he may seize and examine an object in plain view. Stogner v. Commonwealth, Ky. App., 35 S.W.3d 831, 836. As Johnson admits that the container was outside his vehicle, in the field where the officers were in accordance with law while chasing the fl......
  • Elm Street/Mccracken Pike Preservation Alliance, Inc. v. Barrows, NO. 2002-CA-001927-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • October 17, 2003
    ...council members in the instant case. 13. Emphasis supplied. 14. Hale, id., at 151 (citations omitted); Stogner v. Commonwealth, Ky. App., 35 S.W.3d 831, 834 15. Commonwealth v. Phon, Ky., 17 S.W.3d 106, 108 (2000)(citation omitted). See also Manies v. Croan, Ky. App., 977 S.W.2d 22, 23 (199......
  • Johnson v. Branch Banking and Trust Co., No. 2009-SC-000319-CL.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 17, 2010
    ...at liberty to add or subtract from the legislative enactment or interpret it at variance from the language used. Stogner v. Commonwealth, 35 S.W.3d 831, 834 (Ky.App.2000). "When the words of a statute `are clear and unambiguous and express legislative intent, 313 S.W.3d 560 there is no room......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Chrysalis House, Inc. v. Tackett, No. 2007-CA-002316-WC (Ky. App. 3/7/2008), No. 2007-CA-002316-WC
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • March 7, 2008
    ...the "the legislature is presumed to be aware of the existing law at the time of enactment of a later statute." Stogner v. Commonwealth, 35 S.W.3d 831, 835 (Ky.App. 2000). See also St. Clair v. Commonwealth, 140 S.W.3d 510, 570 (Ky. 2004); Shewmaker v. Commonwealth, 30 S.W.3d 807, 809 (Ky.Ap......
  • Elm Street/Mccracken Pike Preservation Alliance, Inc. v. Barrows, NO. 2002-CA-001927-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • October 17, 2003
    ...council members in the instant case. 13. Emphasis supplied. 14. Hale, id., at 151 (citations omitted); Stogner v. Commonwealth, Ky. App., 35 S.W.3d 831, 834 15. Commonwealth v. Phon, Ky., 17 S.W.3d 106, 108 (2000)(citation omitted). See also Manies v. Croan, Ky. App., 977 S.W.2d 22, 23 (199......
  • Johnson v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, NO. 2002-CA-000630-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • May 16, 2003
    ...when an officer is legally in any location, he may seize and examine an object in plain view. Stogner v. Commonwealth, Ky. App., 35 S.W.3d 831, 836. As Johnson admits that the container was outside his vehicle, in the field where the officers were in accordance with law while chasing the fl......
  • Johnson v. Branch Banking and Trust Co., No. 2009-SC-000319-CL.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • June 17, 2010
    ...at liberty to add or subtract from the legislative enactment or interpret it at variance from the language used. Stogner v. Commonwealth, 35 S.W.3d 831, 834 (Ky.App.2000). "When the words of a statute `are clear and unambiguous and express legislative intent, 313 S.W.3d 560 there is no room......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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