COURT WATCH: Motion to Suppress Evidence for Potential Unauthorized Search of Accused’s Property Delays Trial

LOS ANGELES- CA, MARCH 2: Los Angeles Superior Court Stanley Mosk Courthouse March 2, 2004 in Los Angeles Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

By Jenna Tooley

LOS ANGELES, CA – A trial here in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week was postponed until April after the defense filed a motion at a pretrial conference asking the court to determine if police had a warrant to search the accused’s backpack, where police claimed to find evidence of crimes.

The accused man is charged with possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, possession of a firearm with a prior violent conviction, possession of a firearm by a narcotic addict and possession of ammunition.

Judge Christopher Dybwad asked the defense and prosecution, “Did the officers need a search warrant to go into the backpack and if not, what is the search warrant exception being put forward, adding “firearms aren’t a legal basis” and matters regarding plain view must be taken into consideration.

In regard to the plain view doctrine, Judge Dybwad also asked the parties if touch is the concept of plain view and if it is indeed a search when there is manipulation of the bag. He added that “more analysis is needed” to assess the matters of the incident accurately.

Deputy Public Defender Jill Marlene Janotta stated the backpack was “put on a hook on the wall, meaning it was manipulated.”

DPD Janotta briefly discussed these matters with the accused, stating on behalf of the accused that he wanted to return to court as soon as possible to get the trial underway.

DPD Janotta suggested returning in two weeks, to continue within the accused’s allotted timeline to begin the trial and settle the case.

Deputy District Attorney Lucrecia Adriana Boado abruptly asserted March doesn’t work for her and requested to prolong the hearing until the beginning of April. DPD Janotta spoke with the accused to confirm this date, to which the accused responded with “if that’s the only date.”

Judge Dybwad didn’t offer to provide an earlier return date, motioning the accused to “return on April 8,” despite the accused wanting to have his case settled sooner.

About The Author

Jenna Tooley is a third-year senior studying Political Science with a concentration in American Politics and minors in Global Studies and Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a passion for social justice and advocacy work and intends on pursuing Law School in the very near future, with a potential specialization in Criminal Law in aims of dismantiling the stigma around incarcerated people and addressing the root causes of recidvism to provides incarcerated people resources and rehabilitation to independently function upon re-entry into society. Outside of her advocacy work she enjoys traveling and sightseeing, aborbing the ambiance of coffee shops, and thifting as a form of self-care.

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