SEARCH & SEIZURE, Reasonable suspicion: Akins v. Commonwealth (COA 10/16/2009)

Akins v. Commonwealth
2008-CA-000286 10/16/09 2009 WL 3321012
Opinion by Chief Judge Combs; Judge Thompson and Senior Judge Harris concurred.

The Court affirmed a judgment of the circuit court convicting appellant of carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possession of marijuana, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, and sentencing him as a persistent felony offender (PFO). The Court vacated and remanded a judgment of the circuit court convicting appellant of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and a separate PFO conviction. The Court first held that the police did not lack reasonable suspicion to stop appellant. His conduct furnished an articulable, reasonable suspicion that criminal activity might be afoot. Further, his reactions to the police – taking immediate, evasive flight upon seeing a police vehicle approach and then leaping from a front porch as the two police vehicles approached – also furnished reasonable, articulable suspicion for the initial stop. In addition, a warrant for his arrest removed any doubt as to the propriety of his arrest once he was stopped. The Court next held that appellant was not deprived of a fair trial when one officer testified that the other officer recognized appellant and advised him that appellant was wanted on warrants. Appellant specifically and emphatically declined an offer to admonish the jury following the unsolicited comments and allusion to the outstanding warrant was not so “devastating” to his defense that an admonition would not have been sufficient to cure any alleged error. The Court finally held that appellant’s second indictment for possession of a handgun violated the bar against double jeopardy as it was not a new, separate offense but was part and parcel of an ongoing, uninterrupted course of conduct.

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