Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery
Appeal from Municipal Court) Trial Court Case No.
B. DANIELS, Atty. Reg. No. 0084957, Assistant City of Dayton
Prosecutor, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee
ANGELINA N. JACKSON, Atty. Reg. No. 0077937, Attorney for
1} Defendant-appellant, Chad E. Turpin, appeals from
his convictions in Dayton Municipal Court Case No.
2016-CRB-5125, arguing that the court erred by overruling his
motion to suppress evidence obtained as the result of a
warrantless search in violation of his Fourth Amendment
rights. In response, the State argues that Turpin's
Fourth Amendment rights were not violated, but that even if
his rights were violated, the exclusionary rule should not
apply in this case pursuant to the attenuation doctrine. We
find that the trial court erred by overruling Turpin's
motion to suppress, and therefore, we reverse.
Facts and Procedural History
2} On July 28, 2016, an officer with the Dayton
Police Department received a dispatch directing him to a
residence on Haverfield Road in Dayton in response to a
report of a recovered stolen vehicle. Decision & Entry
Overruling Def.'s Mot. to Suppress 1, Dec. 29, 2016
[hereinafter Decision]; Tr. of Hr'g on
Def.'s Mot. to Suppress 5, Aug. 31, 2016 [hereinafter
Tr. of Hr'g]. The dispatch identified a suspect,
James Delecce, and reported an active warrant for his arrest.
Tr. of Hr'g 6. Turpin resided at the Haverfield Road
location at that time; Delecce apparently did
Id. at 3-4 and 19.
3} When the officer arrived, he found the stolen
vehicle in the driveway. Decision 1; Tr. of Hr'g 6. The
vehicle-owner's mother arrived shortly afterward to have
it towed, and she told the officer that she had received a
telephone call from the Haverfield Road residence informing
her that the vehicle could be found there. Tr. of Hr'g
6-7. Having verified that the vehicle was unoccupied, the
officer decided to determine whether the same was true of the
residence. See id. at 7 and 17.
4} The officer tried knocking on the front door
while shouting "Dayton Police, " as well as on an
adjacent window, but nobody answered. Id. at 7-8. He
then walked around to an entrance on the right side of the
house, a solid white door that he found slightly ajar.
See id. at 8 and 20-22. After knocking again without
response, the officer pushed the door open, stepped into the
house, and called out to identify himself. See id.
at 9 and 22. Still receiving no response, the officer walked
into the adjoining room and saw a man, later identified as
Turpin, sleeping on a sofa roughly 15 to 20 feet away.
Id. at 22-23.
5} From this vantage point, the officer observed
Turpin's trousers or shorts around his ankles, and in
light of his unresponsiveness, the officer suspected that
Turpin might have overdosed after injecting heroin into his
groin. Id. at 9-10 and 23. Turpin continued to be
unresponsive to the officer's shouts, so the officer
moved closer. Id. at 11 and 24. Standing within a
foot or two of Turpin, the officer saw "two syringes
right next to him" along with a "significant amount
of cash." Id. at 11. Eventually, Turpin awoke
and identified himself, after which the officer discovered an
active warrant for his arrest and took him into custody.
Id. at 11 and 27.
6} On August 15, 2016, Turpin moved the trial court
to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of the
officer's warrantless search of his residence. Decision
1. The court held a hearing on Turpin's motion on August
31, 2016, and in the Decision, docketed on December 29, 2016,
determined that although the "officer's initial
entry was a constitutional violation, " the
"existence of a preexisting warrant was an intervening
circumstance that interrupted the connection between the
unconstitutional police conduct and the discovery of [the]
evidence." Decision 3. Turpin commenced the instant
appeal on February 7, 2017.
7} Turpin's sole assignment of error is the
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING MR. TURPIN'S MOTION TO
SUPPRESS BY FINDING THAT THE ATTENUATION DOCTRINE RENDERED
THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE INAPPLICABLE TO EVIDENCE SEIZED AS A
RESULT OF THE ...