Friday, June 29, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 87

Summary of Decision June 19, 2012

Chief Justice Kite delivered the opinion for the Court. The convictions and sentences were affirmed.



Docket Number: S-11-0215; S-11-0216


Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County, Honorable Michael K. Davis, Judge

Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): Dion J. Custis of Dion J. Custis, PC, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Gregory A. Phillips, Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; D. Michael Pauling, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Justin A. Daraie, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Daraie.

Date of Decision: June 19, 2012

Facts: A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper stopped Bryan Ellis Phelps and Justin Lindale Fitch for a traffic violation, detained them, conducted a drug dog sniff of their vehicle and, after the dog alerted to the presence of controlled substances, searched the vehicle and found marijuana. Messrs. Phelps and Fitch were each charged with three felonies. They moved to suppress the evidence seized during the search and the district court denied the motion. They subsequently entered pleas of guilty to one of the counts, while reserving their right to appeal the denial of their suppression motion. On appeal, they challenge that denial as well as the district court’s denial of a discovery motion.

Issues: Messrs. Phelps and Fitch present the following issues for our consideration:

I. Was there reasonable cause to stop the vehicle?

II. Did the traffic stop exceed the scope of an investigatory detention?

III. Was the dog’s alert sufficient to establish probable cause for a search of the vehicle?

IV. Did the district court abuse its discretion and commit reversible error by denying the Appellants’ motions to discover[1] and to suppress?

The State asserts the initial stop was justified, the initial questioning was reasonably related to the stop, reasonable suspicion supported continued questioning, and probable cause existed to search the vehicle.

Holdings: The Court affirmed the convictions and sentences.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]

No comments:

Check out our tags in a cloud (from Wordle)!