United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Columbus Division
STEPHEN HYLES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
is charged with unlawfully opposing or resisting a government
employee in the performance of their official duties by
forcibly resisting lawful detention by a military police
officer. Information 1, ECF No. 1 (citing 18 U.S.C.
111(a)(1)). On April 11, 2019, she filed a motion to suppress
(ECF No. 9) alleging she was arrested in her home without a
warrant and either her consent to enter the home or exigent
circumstances being present to authorize the arresting
officers' warrantless entry. Mot. to Suppress 1, ECF No.
9. The Government responded by asserting that Defendant's
husband-and co-occupant of the home-gave officers his consent
to enter the home and that sufficient exigent circumstances
existed to authorize the officers' entrance of the home
without a warrant to arrest Defendant. Resp. to Mot. to
Suppress 7, ECF No. 11. The Court held a hearing on
Defendant's motion on May 8, 2019.
evidence at the hearing establishes that on the evening of
December 8, 2018, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Fort Benning
police officers received a call alerting them to a physical
domestic incident at 113 A Butts St.-Defendants' home.
Hr'g Tr. 10:28. Upon arriving at the residence, Lt.
William Maynard and Officer Thomas Lynn observed Patrick
Rush, who identified himself as Defendant's husband,
bleeding significantly from his nose in front of the house.
Hr'g Tr. 10:28. Mr. Rush, in response to the
officers' inquiry, informed them he had been stricken in
the face by his wife and that she was inside the marital
home. Hr'g Tr. 10:28-29. Lt. Maynard testified that Mr.
Rush said his wife was inside the home and that officers
could “go get her” or words to that effect.
Hr'g Tr. 10:30. There was no evidence at the hearing that
Mr. Rush did not affirmatively consent to the officers'
entry into his home. Officers considered the scene
“active” and were told by neighbors that
Defendant had been seen hitting her husband outside the home.
Hr'g Tr. 10:29-30. When Lt. Maynard and others approached
the home, Defendant refused to answer the door and turned on
loud music. Hr'g Tr. 10:30.
William Maynard was convinced that someone was in the house
and refusing to answer the door, so went to the rear of the
home to see if he could identify exactly who was inside.
Hr'g Tr. 10:30-31. From there, he saw the Defendant and
assessed her as being in an “agitated state.”
Hr'g Tr. 10:31. Lt. Maynard then knocked on the
home's rear door and Defendant answered. Hr'g Tr.
10:31. Defendant told officers to leave, and when Lt. Maynard
told Defendant she needed to come with the officers, she
withdrew into the home and forcibly resisted apprehension.
Hr'g Tr. 10:31.
is a basic principle of Fourth Amendment law that searches
and seizures inside a home without a warrant are
presumptively unreasonable.” Payton v. New
York, 445 U.S. 573, 586 (1980). Indeed, unwarranted
entry into the home is the “chief evil” which the
Fourth Amendment is directed at combatting. Id.
Accordingly, the Fourth Amendment “does not permit an
officer to cross this constitutional line and forcibly remove
a citizen from his home absent an exigency or consent.”
McClish v. Nugent, 483 F.3d 1231, 1242 (11th Cir.
Eleventh Circuit has established five factors that indicate
the presence of exigent circumstances justifying home
invasion in order to make an arrest:
1) the gravity or violent nature of the offense with which
the suspect is to be charged;
2) a reasonable belief that the suspect is armed;
3) probable cause to believe that the suspect committed the
4) strong reason to believe that the suspect is in the
premises being entered;
5) a likelihood that delay could cause the escape of the
suspect or the destruction of essential evidence, or
jeopardize the safety of officers or the public.
U.S. v. Standridge, 810 F.2d 1034, 1037 (11th Cir.
1987). In applying these factors, courts consider whether
“the facts known at the time would lead a reasonable,
experienced agent to believe that exigent circumstances
exist.” U.S. v. Burch, 466 Fed.Appx. 772, 774
(11th Cir. 2012) (citing U.S. v. Reid, 69 F.3d 1109,
1113 (11th Cir. 1995)). Whether relying on consent or the
exigent circumstances exception, “an officer who
conducts a warrantless search or seizure ...