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State v. Stone

Court of Appeals of Oregon

March 18, 2015

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
STEVEN MICHAEL STONE, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted May 27, 2014.

Jackson County Circuit Court. 114624FE. Timothy Barnack, Judge.

Peter Gartlan, Chief Defender, and Stephanie J. Hortsch, Deputy Public Defender, Office of Public Defense Services, filed the brief for appellant.

Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, and David B. Thompson, Senior Assistant Attorney General, filed the brief for respondent.

Before Sercombe, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Judge, and Mooney, Judge pro tempore.

OPINION

Page 596

[269 Or.App. 747] SERCOMBE, P. J.

Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for unlawful possession of marijuana, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. An officer found defendant in a parking lot, observed that he was intoxicated, and decided to take him to a detoxification center. While still standing in the parking lot, the officer told defendant that he would be handcuffed and transported to " detox," and he asked defendant if he had anything that he was not supposed to have. Defendant responded that he had " weed" in his backpack, which the officer later found pursuant to a consent search. On appeal, defendant argues that, contrary to the trial court's conclusion, the officer was required to give him Miranda warnings because he was questioned in compelling circumstances for purposes of Article I, section 12, of the Oregon Constitution.[1] For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the trial court properly rejected that argument and denied defendant's motion. Accordingly, we affirm.

We state the facts consistently with the trial court's factual findings and its decision denying defendant's motion to suppress. State v. Shaff, 343 Or. 639, 641, 175 P.3d 454 (2007). On July 30, 2011, an officer on patrol first saw defendant sitting in a Wal-Mart parking lot at around 7:00 p.m. When the officer later saw defendant walking his bicycle across the parking lot, he observed that

Page 597

defendant " had an overall drunk like appearance" : He was having balance issues, he had a flushed complexion and disheveled look, and he was bleeding from abrasions on his elbows that appeared to be " road rash" from having fallen down.

The officer decided to perform a welfare check because he was worried that defendant might decide to cross a busy, four-lane highway nearby. Upon making contact with defendant, the officer noticed that he smelled of alcohol [269 Or.App. 748] and that his speech was slurred. Defendant told the officer that he was walking his bike to his home, which was not far away.

The officer decided to take defendant to a detoxification center in Medford. At the officer's request, defendant provided his identification. When the officer asked about his condition, defendant explained that he had drunk " too much to be riding his bike" and that he was bleeding because he had been " X-Gaming" on his bike, which the officer understood to mean " extreme sports." At that point, in the officer's view, defendant would not have been free to retrieve his possessions and leave.

The officer asked defendant to put down his bike and the backpack defendant was wearing, though the officer told him that he could finish his cigarette. Defendant asked the officer if he would be handcuffed, and the officer responded that defendant " would be because [the officer] was taking him to detox." As defendant was ...


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