United States v. Neugin, No. 19-7043 (10th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Jack Neugin pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition on the condition that he could appeal the district court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence of the ammunition and firearm police found in the bed of his pickup truck. Officers responded to a reported verbal altercation between Neugin and his girlfriend. One of the officers saw ammunition in the back of the truck after he lifted the truck's camper lit do allow the girlfriend to retrieve her belongings. Neugin argued the officers discovered the evidence during an unconstitutional search; the district court concluded the officer was acting "in a lawful position" as "community caretaker," and found no Fourth Amendment violation. The Tenth Circuit reversed, finding that : (1) the officer conducted the without a warrant or probable cause, (2) the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement does not apply, and (3) the inevitable discovery exception to the exclusionary rule does not apply. The evidence seized should have been suppressed.