Court of Appeals considers Durham case about mistaken address, accidental discovery of pot | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Court of Appeals considers Durham case about mistaken address, accidental discovery of pot

Posted by on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:56 AM

This week the North Carolina Court of Appeals is considering a case involving the application of the 4th Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, during emergency situations. A Durham man caught growing pot in his home maintains his innocence, considering that the cops never should have been there in the first place.

One early morning in the fall of 2012, a man with slow, slurred speech called 911 and told the dispatcher that he swallowed pills in a suicide attempt. The caller gave an address on Valley Run Drive in Durham. The dispatcher, however, mistakenly sent the police to the wrong address on Valley Run Drive.

The police knocked on the door and, through a window, motioned Kyle Wood, one of the residents, to the front door. Wood denied making the 911 call and was not slurring his words. After he acknowledged having a roommate, the police asked to enter the home, but Wood did not give them permission. Worried about a potential suicide about to occur, the police entered the home against Wood's will. Inside, they ran into Wood's roommate, who also denied making the 911 call and was not slurring his words.

Inside the living room, the police called the dispatcher to confirm the accurate address. During the call, one of the officers turned on a light and saw a bag of weed on the floor. After seeing more pot in other rooms, they got a search warrant for the entire home. After obtaining it, they searched the house and found several sandwich bags of marijuana, two growing systems including one with live plants, a safe with vacuum-sealed packages containing $1,000 each, several marijuana plants hanging from a string to dry, trays of drying pot in the kitchen and a digital scale. In addition the freezer contained marijuana leaves.

Wood was charged for various drug crimes. During a hearing last August his lawyer filed a motion to suppress the evidence, considering the cops never should have been at his house in the first place. Judge Paul Ridgeway denied the motion. Wood pleaded guilty to drug manufacturing, possession and sales charges, but he appealed Ridgeway's denial of his motion to suppress the evidence. He was placed on supervised probation for two years. 

On appeal, Wood's lawyers argue that the police had no right to enter his home without his consent, even when considering the threat of suicide. 

"In Mr Wood's case, it only took about thirty seconds for the police to contact the dispatcher to determine that they were at the wrong address," wrote Wood's lawyer in his appeal brief. "There was no reason they could not have remained outside the door, asked Mr Wood to check on his roommate, and spent those thirty seconds making sure they were at the right house."

Police attorneys counter that the cops—including a trained crisis intervention officer—had a reasonable basis to enter the home, and that sometimes when suicidal people call for help, they will deny their suicidal intentions once help arrives.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

The Veil of Secrecy Has Been Lifted....
After many decades of secrecy and operation in the shadows, we, the illuminated …

by Excellency Mexico on “With DACA, I Feel Like I Have a Superpower”: After Trump Ends DACA, Triangle Recipients Tell Their Stories (News)

Look Lisa, your grandfather's story is tough. I would suggest however that he is a victim of capitalist oppression, not …

by CPF (CommiePinkoFag) on “Durham’s a Bright Light for Our Movement”: After Their Cases Were Continued Until November, Defend Durham Activists Took a Victory Lap (News)

Most Recent Comments

The Veil of Secrecy Has Been Lifted....
After many decades of secrecy and operation in the shadows, we, the illuminated …

by Excellency Mexico on “With DACA, I Feel Like I Have a Superpower”: After Trump Ends DACA, Triangle Recipients Tell Their Stories (News)

Look Lisa, your grandfather's story is tough. I would suggest however that he is a victim of capitalist oppression, not …

by CPF (CommiePinkoFag) on “Durham’s a Bright Light for Our Movement”: After Their Cases Were Continued Until November, Defend Durham Activists Took a Victory Lap (News)

Apparently we must hope that the N&O doesn't follow through on this trend by deciding that they will cover legislative …

by khoragos on The N&O’s Performing Arts Correspondent Says the Paper Is Cutting Back on Performing Arts Reviews (News)

Cancelling the parade affects all people. I usually went just for the parade, not the night events. Parents take their …

by Aiden on Carolina Jews for Justice Says NC Pride Schedule Fix Isn't Enough (News)

I should also add that it was professor Daniel Sherman who penned the letter that we all signed after some …

by elin o'Hara slavick on UNC Faculty Members Call for the Removal of Silent Sam (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation