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State v. Walker

Supreme Court of North Dakota

December 1, 2015

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Clinton Francis Walker, Defendant and Appellant

Page 452

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 453

Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable Thomas J. Schneider, Judge.

Julie A. Lawyer, Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney, Bismarck, ND, for plaintiff and appellee.

Lee M. Grossman, Valley City, ND, for defendant and appellant.

Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J., Dale V. Sandstrom. I concur in the result. Lisa Fair McEvers.

OPINION

Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chief Justice.

Page 454

[¶1] Clinton Walker appealed from a criminal judgment entered upon his conditional plea of guilty for possession of marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols with intent to deliver. Walker pled guilty after the district court denied his motion to suppress evidence and, on appeal, challenges that order. We affirm.

I

[¶2] While conducting drug surveillance, a Bismarck Police officer observed a vehicle with out-of-state plates. A detective working with the officer believed he recognized at least one occupant of the vehicle. Walker was a passenger in that vehicle. The detective asked the officer to pull the vehicle over if he observed it make a traffic violation. The officer observed the vehicle making an illegal left turn and stopped the vehicle.

[¶3] Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer informed the occupants as to the reason for the stop, asked for their identification, and asked about their travel plans. They informed the officer they were traveling from Washington State to Indiana because the driver's mother was undergoing surgery. The officer also discovered that the vehicle was rented by Walker in Indianapolis and would be returned to that location. When asked, the occupants denied there was anything illegal in the vehicle.

[¶4] The officer relayed the identification and travel plans to the detective, who did not recognize their names. A check of their information did not turn up any outstanding warrants or criminal history. The officer radioed a second unit to help secure the scene and had the driver, Tyler Asbach, exit the vehicle. Asbach was again asked about their travel plans. He indicated Walker was his second cousin and that his mother was having surgery, but did not know what kind of surgery. He also stated that they chose to drive to see the country.

[¶5] The officer requested permission to search the vehicle, which Asbach ...


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