United States v. William Kennedy, No. 21-2377 (8th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendant was pulled over after an officer observed excessive braking. During the stop, the officer observed both driver and passenger appeared to be nervous. Upon a subsequent pat-down, the officer observed a clear glass smoking device with burnt residue inside Defendant's open pocket. After another search, an additional 20 grams of methamphetamine were recovered from Defendant.
The trial court denied Defendant's motion to suppress. He ultimately entered a conditional guilty plea and was sentenced to 216 months in prison.
On appeal, Defendant challenged the district court's denial of his motion to suppress. The court affirmed the district court's decision, finding the officers did not unconstitutionally extend the traffic stop. The court also held that the officer was permitted to ask Defendant out of the car and that Defendant consented to the pat-down by raising his arms.
The court also found that the district court did not commit any error in the sentencing factors under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3553(a).
Court Description: [Kelly, Author, with Colloton and Kobes, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Criminal law and sentencing. The police officers did not extend the traffic stop longer than was necessary to attend to the purpose of the stop and related safety concerns, including removal of the car in which defendant was a passenger; defendant consented to a pat-down search by raising his arms above his head in response to the officer's request to conduct a pat-down; the district court discussed the 3553(a) factors and did not err in considering them in the course of granting a downward variance.