Washington v. Boisselle (Majority and Dissent)Annotate this Case
Police were dispatched to petitioner Michael Boisselle's home after two anonymous 911 calls reported that a man named Mike shot and possibly killed someone at the residence. While responding to the calls, officers learned the residence was related to an ongoing missing person/homicide investigation. Unable to determine whether someone was alive inside the home, officers entered the residence and conducted a warrantless search, discovering evidence of a murder therein. Boisselle moved to suppress the evidence, arguing the officers' warrantless search was unlawful under article I, section 7 of the Washington Constitution. The trial court denied Boisselle's motion, concluding that the officers' search fell within the emergency aid function of the community caretaking exception to the warrant requirement. Boisselle was convicted by jury of second degree murder and second degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions. The Washington Supreme Court found the officers’ warrantless search of Boisselle's home was a pretext for a criminal investigation because the officers had significant suspicions of criminal activity, the officers' entry was motivated by the desire to conduct an evidentiary search, and there was no present emergency. Accordingly, the search did not fall within the emergency aid function of the community caretaking exception, and thus violated article I, section 7. Therefore, the Court held the trial court’s findings of fact did not support its conclusions of law and the trial court erred in denying Boisselle's motion to suppress. The Court of Appeals’ judgment was reversed and the case remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings.