COM. V. MARR
CRIMINAL: Search & Seizure (surrounding area considered in pat down search)
OPINION BY CUNNINGHAM; ABRAMSON DISSENTS BY SEP OP IN WHICH LAMBERT AND SCHRODER JOIN
DATE RENDERED: 5/22/2008
In 4-3 opinion, SC reversed CA and Jefferson Circuit Court’s order suppressing evidence seized following a pat-down search of Marr. When the circumstances in this case are examined in their totality, the present situation becomes readily distinguishable from Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266, 120 S.Ct. 1375, 146 L.Ed.2d 254 (2000). The Officers conducted surveillance of the body shop prior to Marr being frisked, and noticed a traffic pattern consistent with illegal drug activity. They arrested one visitor to the-body shop and found illegal drugs. The police are permitted to take into account their surroundings – and whether a particular location has a reputation for being a "known drug" area – when forming a reasonable and articulable suspicion. Likewise, Officer Bailey’s suspicion of Marr was legitimately raised once it became objectively probable that drugs were being trafficked from the body shop.
Digested by Scott Byrd, Olgin and Byrd Attorneys