STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JERRY LEWIS TUTTLE - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Apr 5, 2017

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andre´e S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; Andrew Craig Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; Brent Cooper, Assistant District Attorney General; T. Michel Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

John S. Colley III (at trial and on appeal) and Kevin S. Latta (at trial), Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jerry Lewis Tuttle.

Judge(s): CLARK

We granted the State's appeal primarily to determine whether the intermediate appellate court erred in finding the search warrant affidavit insufficient to establish probable cause, and in doing so, to revisit the continuing vitality of State v. Jacumin, 778 S.W.2d 430 (Tenn. 1989). In Jacumin, this Court refused to follow Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983), which adopted a totality-of-the-circumstances analysis for determining whether an affidavit establishes probable cause for a search warrant, and instead embraced, as a matter of Tennessee constitutional law, another test derived from two earlier United States Supreme Court decisions, Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108 (1964) and Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410 (1969). For the reasons explained herein, we overrule Jacumin and adopt the totality-of-the-circumstances analysis for determining whether an affidavit establishes probable cause for issuance of a warrant under article I, section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution. Applying this standard, we reverse the Court of Criminal Appeals' decision holding the search warrant invalid. We also reverse the intermediate appellate court's conclusion that the evidence was insufficient to support the defendant's convictions for conspiracy to possess over 300 pounds of marijuana with intent to sell or deliver and conspiracy to commit money laundering and reinstate the trial court's judgment approving the jury's verdict. Finally, we affirm, on separate grounds, the Court of Criminal Appeals' decision upholding the trial court's judgment ordering forfeiture of the $1,098,050 cash seized when the search warrant was executed.

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