United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
William W. Caldwell United States District Judge.
Timothy Andrew Young has moved to suppress evidence obtained
from a warrantless search of his residence. After careful
consideration, the court will deny Defendant's motion.
22, 2016, Defendant was indicted on one count of being a
felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
(Doc. 3). He initially represented himself, but after
multiple disruptive hearings and refusals to cooperate, this
court found that he had waived his right to
self-representation. (See Doc. 56 at 9). Standby
counsel from the Federal Public Defender's Office was
appointed to represent him. (Id.; Doc. 57).
standby counsel was appointed, Defendant-through his
attorney- sought leave to file a motion to suppress evidence
nunc pro tunc, (Doc. 69); the Government did not
oppose the late filing of a motion to suppress, (id.
at 3). In his motion to suppress, Defendant claims that the
warrantless search of, and seizure of evidence from, his
residence violated his Fourth Amendment rights. (Doc. 70;
Doc. 71 at 5). The Government asserts that valid exceptions
to the warrant requirement made the search and seizures
constitutional. (Doc. 78 at 6-11). An evidentiary hearing was
held on September 26, 2017. (Doc. 77 at 1). The motion to
suppress is now ripe for disposition.
Findings of Fact
April 6, 2016, four officers from the Franklin County
Sheriff's Office attempted to execute an arrest warrant
for Defendant at his residence. (Doc. 77, Tr. of Hr'g on
Mot. to Suppress [hereinafter “Doc. 77”], at
5-6). Defendant lived at this residence with Teresa
Wines-McLean (“Wines-McLean”). (Doc. 77 at 72).
the officers arrived, they positioned themselves around the
house. (Id. at 8-9). Several officers knocked on the
rear sliding glass door, and Wines-McLean opened the door to
speak with the officers. (Id. at 8). She told them
that Defendant was home and that she would go get him.
(Id.) Shortly thereafter, Wines-McLean shut and
locked the sliding glass door. (Id. at 8, 28).
Benjamin Sites (“Sergeant Sites”) observed,
through the front bay window, a male in a reclining chair in
the living room area. (Id. at 8, 22). Around the
time the rear sliding glass door was shut and locked on the
officers, one of the deputies at the front of the house saw
the man get out of the recliner and move to the back of the
house where the bedrooms were located. (Id. at 9).
response to the rear door being shut and locked, the officers
knocked loudly and warned the occupants that if the door was
not opened, the officers would force entry into the house.
(Id.) After approximately four to five minutes,
Wines-McLean opened the door. (Id.) At that time the
officers entered the residence and physically removed
Wines-McLean to the rear porch. (Id. at 10, 30). She
seemed distraught and frightened, and told the officers that
Defendant had concealed himself somewhere in the house.
(Id. at 10-11).
officers asked Wines-McLean if there were firearms in the
home, and she responded affirmatively. (Id. at 74).
According to Sergeant Sites, she also made statements
indicating that Defendant was not going to surrender to law
enforcement easily, that there were loaded weapons in the
house, and that Defendant was prepared to use them if
necessary. (Id. at 11). Wines-McLean testified that
she did not recall making such statements. (Id. at
moving Wines-McLean outside, the officers began to take
custody of the house. (Id. at 10-11). After clearing
the kitchen area where they had entered, and repeatedly
identifying themselves and calling out for Defendant to give
himself up, they decided to call for backup before proceeding
further. (Id. at 11-12). While holding the hallway
and awaiting backup, Sergeant Sites heard a “crashing
noise” from somewhere in the house. (Id. at
12, 33). When he exited the house sometime later, he saw a
basement window that was ajar. (Id. at 34).
much of this time, Wines-McLean was on the phone with her
next-door neighbor, Gina Spero (“Spero”), and
eventually went to Spero's property for consolation.
(Id. at 63-64, 78). While Wines-McLean was literally
crying on Spero's shoulder, Spero saw Defendant jump her
fence and run through her backyard. (Id. at 13, 64,
68). This information was immediately relayed to the
officers. (Id. at 13, 68). Spero was not allowed to
return to her home since Defendant was on the loose and had
been seen near her house, so the officers requested that she
and Wines-McLean return to Wines-McLean's residence and
wait in the ...