United States v. Coleman, No. 17-2644 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Phillips, who resided with Coleman, called 911, stating that Coleman had punched her and had a gun. North Little Rock Officer Crowder responded, finding Phillips outside the residence with facial injuries. Phillips opened the door. She and Crowder entered the residence, where Crowder confronted and arrested Coleman after a struggle that involved the use of a taser. Crowder found a large bag of white substance and a large amount of cash in Coleman's pockets, small baggies of white powder on the stairwell, and a handgun and another bag of cocaine in a loveseat near where Coleman was arrested. Additional officers responded and discovered firearms and drugs during a protective sweep of the residence and a warrant search the following day. At a hearing, Phillips contradicted Officer Crowder, denying stating that Coleman struck her and was armed, and denying opening the door and escorting Crowder inside. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress; Coleman’s convictions for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), 846, being a felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1), and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A), and his 161-month sentence. Phillips’s testimony established that she possessed common authority over the premises. The court explicitly credited Crowder’s testimony as more accurate.