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.

Wright v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

May 14, 2019

GARRETT A. WRIGHT, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Albany County The Honorable Tori R.A. Kricken, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Tim Newcomb, Laramie, Wyoming; R. Michael Vang, R. Michael Vang, P.C., Laramie, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Vang.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Darrell D. Jackson, Faculty Director, University of Wyoming Prosecution Assistance Program; Catherine M. Mercer, Student Director. Argument by Ms. Mercer.

          Before DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.

          BOOMGAARDEN, JUSTICE.

         [¶1] Appellant, Garrett A. Wright, entered a conditional guilty plea to the charge of possession of marijuana (third or subsequent offense), reserving his right to appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. Finding no error, we affirm the denial of the motion to suppress and, hence, Mr. Wright's conviction and sentence.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Mr. Wright presents the following issue on appeal: Did the warrantless detention of Mr. Wright violate the Fourth Amendment and Wyoming Constitution Article I, §§ 4, 6 and 36?

         FACTS

         [¶3] In preparation to direct traffic from the Albany County Fairgrounds at the end of the Jubilee Days rodeo on the evening of July 15, 2017, Laramie Police Officer Christopher Cleven and another officer parked their patrol cars in the middle of Highway 287 with lights flashing. Officer Cleven wore his department-issued helmet and safety vest, and stood positioned to stop traffic heading northbound on Highway 287 in order to allow vehicles to exit the fairgrounds. As Officer Cleven signaled with his flashlight for oncoming traffic to stop, an approaching pickup truck maintained highway speed until it was within 150 feet of Officer Cleven. The truck then rapidly decreased speed and came to a complete stop after veering onto the right shoulder, about 30 feet past Officer Cleven.

         [¶4] Officer Cleven found Mr. Wright in the truck, looking dazed and moving items from the center console to behind the driver's seat. Rather than rolling down his window as Officer Cleven asked, Mr. Wright lit a cigarette. When Mr. Wright finally rolled his window down, Officer Cleven immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana. After taking a Standard Field Sobriety Test, Mr. Wright told Officer Cleven he had smoked marijuana at noon that day and there was marijuana in the center console. Officer Cleven searched the vehicle, finding marijuana and a glass pipe with marijuana residue.

         [¶5] Mr. Wright moved to suppress the evidence, [1] challenging the validity and scope of the stop for a variety of reasons. At the evidentiary hearing, Mr. Wright abandoned several of his arguments and focused entirely on the justification for the initial stop of his vehicle. He also conceded that if the district court concluded that the stop was justified, then the remainder of the detention, and ultimate search, was justified. Following the hearing, the district court denied the motion, finding probable cause justified the initial stop, and allowed Mr. Wright to enter a conditional guilty plea pursuant to W.R.Cr.P. 11(a)(2). The district court sentenced Mr. Wright to three to five years' incarceration, with credit for time previously served, and suspended the sentence subject to three years' supervised probation. Mr. Wright timely appealed.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         [¶6] We review de novo the question of whether Officer Cleven legally detained Mr. Wright. Rodriguez v. State, 2018 WY 134, ¶ 15, 430 P.3d 766, 770 (Wyo. 2018) (citation omitted). However, in reviewing the denial of Mr. Wright's motion to suppress, we adopt the district court's factual findings unless those findings are clearly erroneous, id, and view the evidence in the light most favorable to the ...


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.