Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Johnson v. State

April 20, 2010

LEVI WILLIAM JOHNSON, APPELLANT (DEFENDANT),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, APPELLEE (PLAINTIFF).



Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable John R. Perry, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Golden, Justice

Before VOIGT, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, KITE, BURKE, JJ.

[¶1] Appellant Levi William Johnson entered a conditional plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance. On appeal, Jones maintains the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress the drug evidence. Finding no error, we affirm the district court's suppression ruling.

ISSUE

[¶2] The dispositive issue in this case is whether the drug evidence was obtained in violation of Johnson's constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, § 4 of the Wyoming Constitution.

FACTS

[¶3] Johnson was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and conspiracy to deliver marijuana, as proscribed by Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-7-1031(a)(ii) and § 35-7-1042 (LexisNexis 2009). He filed a motion to suppress the marijuana evidence, contending it was the product of an unlawful search under both the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, § 4 of the Wyoming Constitution. Johnson insisted his consent for the officers' initial entry into the home was coerced and involuntary because one officer indicated that, if Johnson refused consent, a search warrant would be obtained resulting in a more intrusive search of his residence. Johnson contended that any evidence obtained as a result of that initial unlawful entry, including the evidence recovered during execution of a later search warrant, was tainted and, thus, should be suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree. Following an evidentiary hearing, the district court summarily denied Johnson's suppression motion, concluding Johnson had "voluntarily consented to the search of his residence." Johnson subsequently entered a conditional guilty plea to the conspiracy charge, reserving the right to appeal the district court's suppression ruling, and the State dismissed the remaining charge.

[¶4] This is the second time this case has been before us on appeal. In the first appeal, we determined the district court's suppression ruling, which was devoid of factual findings and legal reasoning, was insufficient to permit adequate review of Johnson's constitutional claims. Johnson v. State, 2009 WY 104, 214 P.3d 983 (Wyo. 2009). We therefore remanded the case to the district court "for the limited purpose of the entry of a supplemental order including the factual findings required by [W.R.Cr.P.] 12(f) as well as a statement by the district court of the conclusions of law it has reached on those findings." Id., ¶ 27, 214 P.3d at 989.

[¶5] As directed, the district court entered a supplemental order, which contained the following findings of fact:

1. On February 22, 2008, Officer Timothy Vogt of the Gillette Police Department responded to [Johnson's residence] in response to a report of a vehicle on fire.

2. Officer Vogt found the car on fire approximately four to five feet away from the mobile home located at the above address.

3. Officer Vogt investigated to determine the identity of the vehicle's owner by contacting Police Department dispatch. He learned that the owner was Levi Johnson. Mr. Johnson was not present at the scene.

4. Officer Vogt testified that Brittany Kuhnel, Levi Johnson's girlfriend and resident of the mobile home, arrived at the scene while Officer Vogt and fire department personnel were still investigating the fire.

5. Ms. Kuhnel admitted to Officer Vogt that she had contraband inside the mobile home. Officer Vogt then contacted dispatch and asked that a narcotics officer be sent to the scene.

6. Detective Chad Trebby of the Gillette Police Department was the narcotics investigator dispatched to the scene in response to Officer Vogt's request.

7. Detective Trebby testified that he talked with Ms. Kuhnel, who indicated that there may have been a small amount of marijuana inside the residence. Detective Trebby requested her permission to go inside with her and retrieve the small amount of marijuana she had described. She agreed, but wanted to speak with her boyfriend, Mr. Johnson, first.

8. Mr. Johnson had arrived at the scene sometime before Detective Trebby. Ms. Kuhnel, Detective Trebby and Officer Vogt approached Mr. Johnson; Ms. Kuhnel informed Mr. Johnson that the officers wanted to search the residence because she had admitted there was a small amount of marijuana inside.

9. Detective Trebby asked Mr. Johnson for permission to enter the residence to retrieve the small amount of marijuana that Ms. Kuhnel had told the officers about. Mr. Johnson then asked ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.