Articles Tagged with search seizure

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Two recent appellate court cases both discussed the constructive possession of a weapon and both reached different conclusions.

In People v. Spencer, 2012 IL App (1st) 102094 (Feb 2, 2012), the defendant was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in that defendant unlawfully possessed a handgun.

The police executed a search warrant of defendant and of a home. When the police entered the home they claimed to have seen the defendant run toward the back of the house and he was arrested in the backyard. Upon searching the house the police found some ammunition, cash, and cannabis and several items that indicated that defendant was living in the home. After being read his Miranda rights defendant made a statement that “if you had my kind of money, you’d have a gun, too.” The police then searched the kitchen and found a revolver on top of a kitchen cabinet.

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In People v. Rhinehart, 2011 IL App (1st) 100683, a Chicago Police Officer was flagged down and told that a black male wearing a white shirt and yellow pants was carrying a gun.  The police then located the man and conducted a pat-down search which resulted in the recovery of a weapon.  At the trial court, defendant filed a motion to attempt to have the gun suppressed and cited Terry v. Ohio, 392 US 1 (1968) and Florida v JL, 529 US 266 (2000).  The trial court denied the motion.  Defendant appealed and the Appellate Court reversed.

Here the state provided no basis to believe that the informant was reliable and there was insufficient basis for the officer to believe that defendant was engaged in criminal activity to justify a Terry stop.

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