Submitted August 29, 2017
Multnomah County Circuit Court 16CR09547; Bronson D. James,
Wilner-Nugent fled the brief for appellant.
F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor
General, and Susan Yorke, Assistant Attorney General, filed
the brief for respondent.
Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Garrett, Judge, and Powers,
Summary: Defendant challenges his conviction for coercion
constituting domestic violence, ORS 163.275, asserting that
the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress
evidence and statements obtained after police officers forced
entry into his apartment without first obtaining a warrant.
The state argues that the warrantless entry was justified by
the emergency aid exception. Held: The trial court
did not err. The officers had an objectively reasonable
belief that entry into defendant's apartment was
necessary to immediately aid, or to assist someone who had
suffered, or was imminently threatened with suffering,
serious physical injury or harm.
Or.App 798] POWERS, J.
challenges his conviction for coercion constituting domestic
violence, ORS 163.275, asserting that the trial court erred
by denying his motion to suppress evidence and statements
obtained after police officers forced entry into his
apartment without first obtaining a warrant.The state
remonstrates that the trial court correctly concluded that
the warrantless entry was justified by the emergency aid
exception to the warrant requirement. We agree with the state
that the officers had an objectively reasonable belief that
entry into defendant's apartment was necessary to
immediately aid, or to assist someone who had suffered, or
was imminently threatened with suffering, serious physical
injury or harm. Accordingly, we affirm.
review the denial of defendant's motion to suppress
evidence for errors of law and, in so doing, we are
"bound by the trial court's findings of fact if they
are supported by the record." State v. Baker,
350 Or. 641, 650, 260 P.3d 476 (2011). If the trial court did
not make explicit findings on facts that could be decided
more than one way based on the evidence in the record, then
we will infer that the court found those facts consistent
with the trial court's ultimate conclusion. Ball v.
Gladden, 250 Or. 485, 487, 443 P.2d 621 (1968). We
describe the facts consistent with those standards of review.
Anderson and Delong arrived at an apartment complex based on
a report that a neighbor heard sounds of a man and woman
arguing and that the fight was escalating. Anderson and
Delong parked a block away from the apartment complex and, as
they walked toward the apartment complex, they could hear a
man and a woman having a loud conversation but could not hear
specifically what was being said. The apartment complex had
approximately 100 units, and because the officers were
dispatched to the general area and not a specific apartment,
Anderson and Delong spoke with neighbors to confirm the
apartment from which the loud argument was emanating. As the
officers [293 Or.App 799] approached defendant's
apartment, Anderson heard a door slam, both officers heard a
man say "shut the fuck up," and Anderson testified
that he heard, "shut the fuck up," a second time.
The officers heard a woman who sounded like she was in
distress, crying and whimpering. Then Anderson heard "a
loud, loud thump, really severely loud," that sounded
like a "big, loud crash." Additional officers
arrived on scene. When they stood at the front of
defendant's apartment, the officers did not hear any
sounds coming from inside. The officers knocked for
approximately 10 minutes and did not receive a response.
testified that he was concerned for the safety of both the
woman and the man inside the apartment, and "feared that
somebody was injured or was going to be injured inside, more
likely than not, based on what [he] could tell, the
female." Delong, who was worried that the woman might be
physically harmed, was "concerned that she was in
danger, that she was being held against her will." After
Anderson and Delong had been at the apartment complex for
approximately 15 to 20 minutes, and after having knocked on
the apartment door for approximately 10 minutes with no
response, another officer used a small battering ram to force
entry into the apartment.
the officers were inside, Delong saw a man, later identified
as defendant, walk out of the back bedroom and a woman, T,
standing behind defendant in the doorway of the back bedroom.
Delong placed defendant in handcuffs and took him outside to
be interviewed. Anderson testified that T was crying,
obviously shaken up, and that she thanked him for coming
inside. Anderson interviewed T, and the investigation
revealed that defendant sought to control T's movements
by verbal threats.
was charged with, among other crimes, two counts of coercion
constituting domestic violence. Defendant moved to suppress
the evidence obtained after the officers entered his
apartment, arguing that the officers illegally entered his
apartment because entry was not justified by a warrant or the
emergency aid exception to the warrant requirement. He
reasoned that the officers' belief was not objectively
reasonable because neither officer testified [293 Or.App 800]
about any sounds consistent with a physical altercation or
injury. Defendant contended that all evidence collected after
the warrantless entry should be suppressed, including his and
T's statements and the officers' observations. The
state argued that based on the totality of the
circumstances-that the officers responded to a domestic
violence call, heard multiple "shut the fuck up"
statements by a man, the sound of a woman ...