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State v. Adams

Court of Appeals of Iowa

June 5, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JACOB CHRISTOPHER ADAMS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Hamilton County, Kurt L. Wilke (suppression) and James C. Ellefson (trial), Judges.

         A defendant appeals the denial of his motion to suppress.

          Nicholas A. Sarcone of Stowers & Sarcone PLC, West Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Gamble, S.J. [*]

          GAMBLE, Senior Judge.

         Jacob Adams appeals from his conviction for possession of methamphetamine, third offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2017), following a trial on the minutes. On appeal, he alleges the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence.

         I. Background Facts and Prior Proceedings

         On August 26, 2017, someone burglarized Steve Carpenter's home, stealing several items. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department considered Adams's brother, Brett, to be a suspect in the burglary and investigated him. Carpenter's home is located on the same street as Adams's home. As part of the investigation, Deputy Sheriff Rodney Hicok sought and obtained a warrant to search Adams's home, believing Brett left evidence of the burglary in Adams's home.

         When investigators executed the search warrant, they did not recover any evidence of the burglary. However, investigators observed drug paraphernalia and substances appearing to be methamphetamine and marijuana. Based on these observations, Deputy Hicok sought and obtained another search warrant for Adams's home to search for evidence of the possession, dealing, or distribution of controlled substances. When the investigators executed the second search warrant, they recovered marijuana and methamphetamine. As a result, the State charged Adams by trial information with count I, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, and count II, possession of marijuana, third or subsequent offense.

         Adams filed a motion to suppress, alleging the first search warrant application was not supported by probable cause so all evidence, including evidence resulting from the second search warrant, which stemmed from the first, must be suppressed. Following a hearing, the district court denied the motion to suppress. The parties then agreed to amend count I of the trial information to possession of methamphetamine, third offense. Adams proceeded to a trial on the minutes, and the court found him guilty of count I, possession of methamphetamine, third offense.

         Adams now appeals, challenging the district court's ruling on the motion to suppress.

         II. Scope and Standard of Review

         Although challenges with constitutional dimensions are reviewed de novo, "we do not make an independent determination of probable cause; rather, we determine 'whether the issuing judge had a substantial basis for concluding probable cause existed.'" State v. McNeal, 867 N.W.2d 91, 99 (Iowa 2015) (quoting State v. Gogg, 561 N.W.2d 360, 363 (Iowa 1997)). ...


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