Search and Seizure: SUBLETT V. COM. (SC 10/19/2006)

SUBLETT V. COM.
CRIMINAL:  Search and seizure (parole violation)

2005-SC-000832-MR.pdf
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
DATE RENDERED: 10/19/2006

Jefferson Circuit Judge Lizabeth Abramson properly denied Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained in two searches conducted at the respective homes of his mother and sister and properly denied his motion to suppress statements he made to police interrogators following his arrest.

Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573 (1980) expressly forbids "a warrantless and non-consensual entry into a suspect’s home in order to make a routine felony arrest. But this case does not involve a non-consensual entry because Ms. Sublett consented to it. And as owner and occupant of the home, she had authority to admit the parole officers. So regardless of whether KRS 439.430 (1) grants parole officers the authority to enter a home without a warrant to make an arrest, the authority to enter this home was granted by the consent of Ms. Sublett.

SC rejected defense argument that arrest was unlawful because of the parole officers’ failure to conform to KRS 439.430. Officer Johnson had reason to believe that Sublett had violated his parole by committing robberies and so she was authorized to arrest him herself. Because the parole officers had authority to and did arrest Sublett themselves under Subsection 1, Subsection 2 is not applicable. Subsection 2 allows a parole officer to file a written statement with the board (after having such statement approved by the Commissioner) so that the board can decide whether to issue a warrant for the parolee’s arrest or return to prison.

TC properly concluded that the search of Defendant’s backpack and jeans was justified by the plain language of the conditions of Sublett’s release on parole.

Finally, SC found no error in the determination that Sublett validly waived his Miranda rights and that his statements made at the Robbery Unit Office were voluntarily made.

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