The facts of this case are not in dispute. On April 3, 2007, Officer Daniel Rankey stopped a white Mitsubishi Galant, which Goodwin-Bey was driving, for running a red light. While Officer Rankey attempted to identify the vehicle’s four occupants, he received a report of an earlier incident in which occupants of a white Mitsubishi Galant had displayed a firearm. A short time later, Officer Mark Foos arrived to further investigate that incident.
During the course of the stop, Officer Rankey learned of an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation issued for the front passenger, Lawrence Freeman. Officer Greg Sly then arrested and handcuffed Freeman. The officers conducted protective patdowns of the vehicle’s other three occupants, including Goodwin-Bey.
After Freeman’s arrest, Officer Rankey searched the vehicle. Finding the glove box locked, Officer Rankey took Goodwin-Bey’s keys to continue the search, over Goodwin-Bey’s objection. Inside the glove box, Officer Rankey found a Derringer handgun, which he seized. Although Goodwin-Bey admitted that he was a convicted Felon, Officer Rankey did not arrest Goodwin-Bey at the time, instead advising Goodwin-Bey that a detective would contact him for a follow-up investigation. Freeman was transported to the county jail, and Officer Rankey allowed Goodwin-Bey and the other two passengers to leave.
A grand jury later indicted Goodwin-Bey on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). Goodwin-Bey moved to suppress the gun, arguing that Officer Rankey’s search of the vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment. The magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation proposing that Goodwin-Bey’s motion be denied, which the district court adopted in full. The district court then accepted Goodwin-Bey’s conditional guilty plea and sentenced him to 70 months’ imprisonment. Goodwin-Bey now appeals the denial of his motion to suppress, arguing first that the search incident to Freeman’s arrest was impermissible under Arizona v. Gant, 556 U.S. ---, 129 S. Ct. 1710 (2009), because the arrest scene was secure. Second, he argues that the district court erred in finding probable cause sufficient to justify the search.
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Related Categories: Constitutional Law
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|David Randolph Mercer||Office of the Federal Public Defender|
|Michelle Kay Nahon||Office of the Federal Public Defender|
|Scott Goodwin-Bey||Pro Se|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|
|James J. Kelleher||US Attorney's Office|