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Posted by: Karen Belcher on May 18, 2018

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; Danny Goodman, Jr., District Attorney General; and Karen Burns, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Nathan B. Pride and Angela Hopson, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, William Zachary Weatherly.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

In this appeal, we address the constitutionality of police officers’ search of trash located within the curtilage of the home of the Defendant, Williams Zachary Weatherly. The police officers utilized evidence obtained from the Defendant’s trash to secure a search warrant for the Defendant’s home and vehicle. As a result of evidence seized from the Defendant’s trash and during the execution of the search warrant, the Defendant was charged with possession with the intent to sell or deliver more than one-half ounce of marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. The Defendant filed a motion to suppress. Following a hearing, the trial court granted the motion, finding that the warrantless search of the Defendant’s trash was unconstitutional and that the search warrant failed to establish probable cause. The State appealed. Upon reviewing the record and the applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s granting of the motion to suppress.