United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
TERRY A. DOUGHTY
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Hayes United States Magistrate
the undersigned Magistrate Judge, on reference from the
District Court, is a motion to suppress filed by Defendant
Derrick Hall. [doc. # 29]. For reasons explained below, it is
recommended that the motion be DENIED.
testimony and evidence gleaned at the hearing on the
defendant's motion to suppress are as follows.
20, 2018, Hall parked a Buick LeSabre at a Texaco station on
Desiard Street in Monroe, LA. He left the engine running and
music playing while he went inside the station store. A few
minutes later, two Monroe Police Department Officers, Tim
Antley and Jesse Huckaby, arrived at the station in separate
Officer Huckaby exited his patrol car, he heard loud music
coming from the Buick and did not see anyone inside the car.
He stood a few feet away and waited for the driver to return.
Hall soon left the station store, walked to the Buick, and
sat in the driver's seat. Officer Huckaby followed Hall
to the vehicle. As he did so, he smelled marijuana, and the
odor became stronger as he walked closer to the vehicle.
Officer Huckaby stepped inside the open driver's door,
asked Hall for his driver's license, and explained he was
stopping Hall for the loud music and unattended vehicle.
Officer Huckaby then observed a clear plastic bag in the
inside pocket of the driver's door that contained what he
suspected to be marijuana. He removed the marijuana from the
vehicle and continued to detain Hall. Officer Huckaby advised
Hall of his Miranda rights and began preparing a
ticket for possession of marijuana.
preparing the ticket, Officer Rakeida Brothers arrived at the
scene, and Officer Huckaby requested that she search the
vehicle. Hall denied consent to search, but Officers Huckaby
and Antley advised him they did not need his consent because
they already found marijuana inside the vehicle. During a
search of the vehicle, Officer Brothers uncovered a gun
underneath some t-shirts on the floorboard behind the
driver's seat. Officer Brothers radioed dispatch and
confirmed that the gun had been reported stolen. Hall was
then formally arrested.
March 22, 2019, Hall filed the instant motion to suppress
evidence arising from the traffic stop. He claims the
officers (1) had no reasonable suspicion to justify the
initial stop or continue the detention; and (2) had no
probable cause to search his vehicle. [doc. # 29-1].
April 5, 2019, the Government filed its response claiming (1)
there was reasonable suspicion that Hall had violated noise
and vehicle laws to justify the initial stop; (2) additional
reasonable suspicion of drug activity developed during the
stop to justify the continued detention; and (3) probable
cause justified the automobile search because Officer Huckaby
smelled and saw marijuana in the vehicle. [doc. # 31].
suppression hearing took place on April 11, 2019, with
testimony from Officers Huckaby and Brothers. The Government
also introduced into evidence Officer Huckaby's and
Officer Brothers' body camera footage of the stop and
search. [See doc. # 35].
Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees
“[t]he right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures.” U.S. Const. amend. IV. The
protections of the Fourth Amendment extend to the states
through the Fourteenth Amendment. Dunaway v. New
York, 442 U.S. 200, 207 (1979).
proponent of a motion to suppress has the burden of proving,
by a preponderance of the evidence, that the evidence in
question was obtained in violation of his Fourth Amendment
rights.” United States v. Iraheta, 764 F.3d
455, 460 (5th Cir. 2014) (citations omitted). Generally,
“evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment
cannot be used in a criminal proceeding against the victim of
the illegal search or seizure. This prohibition applies as
well to the fruits of the illegally seized evidence.”
United States v. Wallace, 885 F.3d 806, 810 (5th
Cir. 2018) (quoting United States v. Calandra, 414
U.S. 338, 347 (1974)). The purpose of this exclusionary rule
is to deter unlawful police conduct: by refusing to admit
evidence gained as a result of conduct that deprives the
defendant of some right, “the courts hope to instill in
those particular investigating officers, or in their future
counterparts, a greater degree of care toward the rights of
the accused.” United States v. Pope, 467 F.3d
912, 916 (5th Cir. 2006) (quoting United States v.