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State v. Murillo

Court of Appeals of Iowa

July 5, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
PEDRO IBARRA MURILLO JR., Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Paul R. Huscher (suppression) and Randy V. Hefner (trial and sentencing), Judges.

         The defendant appeals from the denial of his motion to suppress. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Nan Jennisch, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, Judge.

         Pedro Ibarra Murillo Jr. appeals from the denial of his motion to suppress. He maintains his constitutional rights were violated when police officers detained him without reasonable suspicion to prolong the stop after arresting the passenger of his vehicle. He asks that we reverse the denial of his motion and suppress all evidence obtained from his vehicle.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         On the afternoon of September 30, 2016, Deputy Sheriff Adam Jacobs was getting into his patrol car when he noticed a truck pulling a trailer as it drove by him. He recognized the man sitting in the passenger seat as Michael Feller, whom the deputy knew had an outstanding warrant for arrest. The officer followed the truck for a number of miles before initiating a stop of the vehicle. After the driver- Murillo-pulled over, Deputy Jacobs approached the passenger side of the truck. As he got near, Jacobs noticed that Feller had reclined his seat and was laying down in the truck; a manner in which he had not been seated before the officer initiated the stop. Jacobs instructed Murillo to roll down the window or unlock the doors of the vehicle so he could extract Feller from the truck, but Murillo refused to do so. The officer advised Murillo that he had stopped the vehicle because he had a warrant for the arrest of his passenger, but Murillo still refused to comply. After the officer radioed for a second unit and withdrew his service weapon, Murillo unlocked the doors. Feller then exited the vehicle. Deputy Jacobs patted down Feller, finding a knife and small bag of methamphetamine[1] in Feller's pocket. Jacobs handcuffed Feller and put him in the back of his squad car. According to the call-for-service-detail report created and kept by the police department, this occurred at 17:00 hours or 5:00 p.m.

         After Feller had been detained, Jacobs returned to Murillo's vehicle to speak with him, asking Murillo for his license, registration, and proof of insurance. "Unprompted," Murillo told Deputy Jacobs that he did not want the officer to search his vehicle. Additionally, he reported he did not have his registration card or current insurance information with him. Jacobs noted that Murillo had not checked the center console for the documents and asked him if he intended to do so; Murillo responded that it was locked. At that point, at 5:11 p.m., Deputy Jacobs called for a K-9 unit.

         Deputy Behnken and the drug-sniffing dog, Kaia, arrived at the scene at 5:26 p.m. Within a few minutes, Deputy Behnken took Kaia around the vehicle; she "indicated" by sitting near the rear passenger door.

         Deputy Jacobs and Deputy Behnken then decided to conduct a search of the interior of the vehicle. They were initially unable to begin the search, as Murillo had intentionally locked the keys in the vehicle when he was asked to step out so the dog sniff could be conducted. The officers used a tool to gain entry into the vehicle. Once inside, the officers used the ignition key for the vehicle to open the locked center console. The search uncovered:

a loaded Sig P238 with a leather holster located in the center console, along with a plastic bag full of U.S. currency, a couple glass pipes with green leafy plant substance, . . . believe[d] to be marijuana, a tear dropper full of brown liquid, . . . believe[d] to be THC oil, and a large amount of U.S. currency in the back seat of the pickup truck.

         According to the complaint and affidavit filed by Deputy Jacobs, the officers also found "a clear plastic baggie containing an amount of a crystal like substance . . . on the driver's side floor ...


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