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State v. Thacker

Court of Appeals of Oregon

July 2, 2014

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
STACEY LANELL THACKER, Defendant-Appellant

Argued and Submitted: April 29, 2014.

Marion County Circuit Court. 11C47914. Lindsay R. Partridge, Judge.

Anne Fujita Munsey, Senior Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. With her on the brief was Peter Gartlan, Chief Defender, Office of Public Defense Services.

Pamela J. Walsh, Senior Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With her on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General.

Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and DeVore, Judge, and Garrett, Judge.

OPINION

Page 1037

[264 Or.App. 152] GARRETT, J.

Defendant was charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), ORS 813.010, misdemeanor driving while suspended, ORS 811.182, and refusal to take a breath test, ORS 813.095. Defendant moved to suppress evidence on the ground that she was unlawfully stopped. After the trial court denied the motion, defendant entered a conditional guilty plea to all of the charged counts, reserving her right to appeal the ruling on the motion. On appeal, the sole issue is whether the trial court erred in denying the motion to suppress. We conclude that it did. Accordingly, we reverse and remand.

In reviewing a trial court's denial of a motion to suppress, we are bound by the court's findings of historical fact so long as they are supported by evidence in the record. State v. Ehly, 317 Or. 66, 75, 854 P.2d 421 (1993). We review the trial court's legal conclusions for legal error. Id.

In this case, there is no dispute as to the facts, which we take from the trial court's letter opinion. Officer Young, of the Keizer Police Department, was notified by his dispatch officer that a caller had reported a possible case of DUII involving a burnt orange Nissan pickup truck with a canopy. The caller reported that the vehicle was being operated by a male driver and that a female passenger, " Stacey," might be the subject of a warrant for her arrest. The caller said that the vehicle was headed to 3390 Cherry Avenue.

Young went to that address and saw an orange pickup truck pull into the driveway. Young drove his marked patrol car into the driveway behind the truck. Defendant drove all the way to the end of the driveway, which was 30 to 40 feet in length, and stopped with the truck resting against a portion of an awning attached to the house. Young stopped less than one car length behind the truck without having activated his vehicle's overhead lights or spotlight. He got out of his car and approached the driver's side door of the truck. Defendant was behind the wheel, whom Young recognized from previous interactions and believed was the " Stacey" reported to have an outstanding arrest warrant. Young asked defendant for her driver's license; she replied that she did not have it with her but that it was probably [264 Or.App. 153] inside the house. She stepped out of the truck and said that she would retrieve the license from the house. Young instructed her to remain with him. At that point, he noticed the smell of alcohol and observed that defendant was " swaying." Young cited defendant for DUII.

Defendant moved to suppress on the ground that Young lacked reasonable suspicion of a crime at the time that he stopped defendant. The arguments before the trial court focused on exactly when the stop occurred. Defendant argued that she was stopped at the moment that Young followed her into the driveway and parked in a manner that blocked her truck from leaving. The state argued that defendant was not stopped until she attempted to enter her house and Young instructed her to remain outside.

In its letter opinion, the trial court determined that Young did ...


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