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State v. Gonzalez

Court of Appeals of Oregon

June 13, 2018

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
CERSENSIANO GONZALEZ, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and submitted February 13, 2017

          Lane County Circuit Court 201420762; Mustafa T. Kasubhai, Judge.

          George W. Kelly argued the cause and fled the brief for appellant.

          Jonathan N. Schildt, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and Shorr, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for one count of delivery of methamphetamine and one count of possession of methamphetamine. Defendant was convicted based on evidence that the police had obtained under a search warrant. Defendant assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress the evidence that had been obtained under the warrant. Defendant, who was a guest in the home in which the evidence was found, contends that, as a guest, the police violated his privacy interests by searching the home under an invalid warrant. Held: The Court of Appeals is bound by the trial court's findings if there is legally sufficient evidence in the record to support them. The trial court's finding-viz., that defendant's invitation to enter the home did not include permission to access or use the area where the evidence was found-was supported by legally sufficient evidence. Thus, defendant lacked an Article I, section 9, privacy interest there. Because defendant did not have a protected privacy interest in that area, he does not have a basis on which to challenge the search warrant of the home. Hence, the trial court did not err by denying defendant's motion to suppress the evidence.

         Affirmed.

         [292 Or.App. 343] ARMSTRONG, P. J.

         Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for one count of delivery of methamphetamine, ORS 475.890, and one count of possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.894. Defendant was convicted based on evidence that the police had obtained under a search warrant. Defendant assigns error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress the evidence that had been obtained under the warrant. Defendant, who was a guest in the home in which the evidence was found, contends that, as a guest, the police violated his privacy interests by searching the home under an invalid warrant. The state responds that defendant did not have a privacy interest in the location in the home in which the evidence was found and that, even if defendant had such an interest, the search warrant was valid. We agree with the state that defendant lacked a protected privacy interest in the location in which the police found the evidence that defendant sought to suppress. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying defendant's suppression motion, and we affirm.

         We review rulings on suppression motions for legal error and are bound by historical facts found by the trial court if they are supported by legally sufficient evidence. See, e.g., State v. Koch, 267 Or.App. 322, 323, 341 P.3d 112 (2014). We draw reasonable factual inferences that are consistent with the trial court's ruling. See, e.g., Ball v. Gladden, 250 Or. 485, 487, 443 P.2d 621 (1968).

         Defendant and Eichengreen had known each other for five or six months as a result of a dating relationship that defendant had had with one of Eichengreen's roommates. However, the roommate had moved from Eichengreen's home a few months before the search that is at issue in this case. Defendant and Eichengreen had run into each other five or six times after the roommate had moved.

         Defendant unexpectedly arrived at Eichengreen's home one day. Eichengreen asked defendant why he was at her house, and he told her that he was there to meet Londo to do an exchange. However, Londo was not at the house. [292 Or.App. 344] Eichengreen did not tell defendant to come into the house, but her conduct implied that defendant could enter it: "[S]o the front door was opened and I basically just turned and went to call Mr. Londo. So, I mean, [defendant] had been [at the house] before, I suppose." Defendant followed Eichengreen into the house, and Eichengreen did not limit defendant's movements in it. Eichengreen then placed a telephone call to Londo, who eventually arrived. Eichengreen left Londo and defendant in the "spare room" in the house, and she went to the backyard.

         Earlier that day, the Springfield Police Department had obtained a warrant to search Eichengreen's home for evidence of possession of methamphetamine, which warrant the police proceeded to execute. When the police entered the home under the warrant, they found Londo in the spare room and defendant outside the house standing on steps that connected the spare room to the backyard. Eichengreen was on a telephone call in the backyard-or, depending on the version of events, in a breezeway connecting the backyard to a garage-roughly 35 feet from the back steps. The police searched under the steps on which defendant had been standing and found a plastic ...


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