United States v. Johnson, 100418 FED11, 17-13726

Docket Nº:17-13726
Opinion Judge:VRATIL, DISTRICT JUDGE
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ANTONEZ TERRIL JOHNSON, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before WILLIAM PRYOR, MARTIN, Circuit Judges, and VRATIL, District Judge.
Case Date:October 04, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

ANTONEZ TERRIL JOHNSON, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 17-13726

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

October 4, 2018

DO NOT PUBLISH

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama D.C. Docket No. 1:16-cr-00224-WS-MU-1

Before WILLIAM PRYOR, MARTIN, Circuit Judges, and VRATIL, [*] District Judge.

VRATIL, DISTRICT JUDGE

Defendant appeals his conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Defendant was a pedestrian walking near the middle of a road when a police officer stopped and questioned him. During the stop, the officer searched defendant's backpack and found a firearm. Defendant filed a motion to suppress the firearm on the ground that before searching the backpack, the officer unlawfully extended the scope of the pedestrian stop under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). The District Court overruled defendant's motion to suppress, and he appeals. For reasons stated below, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Johnny Duval, a police officer in Mobile, Alabama, testified at the hearing on defendant's motion to suppress. Officer Duval was the only witness, and he testified substantially as follows: At approximately 1:00 a.m. on November 2, 2015, Officer Duval responded to a call from a nursing home about a suspicious person looking through windows in parked cars. Defendant-Appellant Antonez Terril Johnson's Appellate Appendix filed November 14, 2017, Tab 40, Transcript Of Evidentiary Hearing at 5-6, 13. The caller described the suspicious person as a black male. Id. at 13. While en route to the nursing home, Officer Duval saw defendant (a black male) and a female companion walking on Springdale Boulevard.1 Id. at 6-7. Officer Duval then watched as a car had to swerve to avoid one of the two individuals in the street. Id. at 7, 26.

Officer Duval activated his emergency lights and stopped his car in the center turn lane, near defendant and his companion. Id. at 7-8. Officer Duval testified that he stopped them because they posed a "safety risk." Id. at 14. For safety reasons, Officer Duval had defendant and his companion step to the back of the police car. Id. at 8. They did so. Officer Duval asked them where they had been. The individuals stated that they were walking from a nearby Walmart, which was open 24 hours per day, to their motel room. Id. at 17. Although they did not have Walmart bags, Officer Duval acknowledged that their purchases could have been in their pockets or in the backpack which defendant was wearing.

In response to questioning, defendant and his companion gave Officer Duval their names and dates of birth. Id. at 21-22. Officer Duval handcuffed them until he could verify their identities and a backup officer arrived. Id. at 8, 21-22. When asked why he handcuffed them, Officer Duval testified, "I put them in handcuffs...

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