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State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 8667)

FELONY VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER and FELONY HIT & RUN DISMISSED – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 8667) (Maricopa County Superior Court No. CR2005-134626): An individual was crossing the roadway near McClintock and Apache Boulevard in Tempe, Arizona, when he was struck and killed by Mr. A’s car. When the Police arrived in the area, they acted on a “hunch” and searched all neighboring apartment complexes. They saw Mr. A’s vehicle parked in a parking space concealed with a car cover. The Officer lifted up the car cover in order to inspect for damage. When he saw damage, he ran the license plate and ascertained Mr. A’s apartment number. Mr. A was then brought out, questioned and arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony Hit & Run.

We filed motions to have the entire case dismissed due to an “improper search” issue. The Officer could have sought out a search warrant before lifting the car cover but he did not do so. The Trial Judge agreed with us and ruled that this was an illegal search and all charges were Dismissed. Although the State Appealed to the Arizona State of Appeals and that decision was reversed, they choose never to re-file charges against Mr. A due to various other problems with the case.

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