Williams v. CommonwealthAnnotate this Case
Kenneth Williams pled guilty to possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, and loitering. Before trial, Williams moved to suppress the handgun seized from him, asserting that it was the product of an unconstitutional stop and patdown of his person. When police detained Williams, he was among a group of nine people, some of whom the police observed openly engaging in illegal drug activity and some of whom police found in possession of handguns. Williams argued that the group's activities did not create reasonable suspicion of criminal activity particularized to him to justify a Terry detention. The trial court denied Williams' motion to suppress, finding that Williams was part of a distinct group whose conduct aroused sufficient reasonable suspicion for the officers to detain Williams. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's ruling on Williams's suppression motion, holding (1) substantial evidence supported the trial court's factual findings; and (2) the Terry stop was constitutional because police had reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity among the group that justified an investigatory stop of its members.