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Justice Robert C. Kohm

 

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Cruz, indicted for criminal possession of a weapon, among other things, moved to suppress the weapon seized during a warrantless search, and statements made post-arrest. Officers received and responded to a radio run of “shots fired.” They were approached by Connolly who stated someone shot at him, confirming he called 911. At the premises Cruz opened the door in only boxer shorts and both men were arrested and taken to the precinct. Miranda warnings were read in English, despite officers recognizing he spoke little English, and they spoke with him in Spanish. Cruz testified he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the premises, although not his permanent residence, but an apartment used while working, including the refrigerator inside, in which the weapon was discovered. The court found Cruz exhibited an expectation of privacy in the apartment, and refrigerator, and same was justifiable. Prosecutors claimed they did not obtain a warrant, but the building owner’s consent to search, but never claimed the owner was, or ever was an apartment occupant. The failure of police to engage in limited inquiry of the owner compelled suppression of the gun as the product of an illegal warrantless search of Cruz’s apartment and refrigerator, and his statements.

Justice Robert C. Kohm

 

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Cruz, indicted for criminal possession of a weapon, among other things, moved to suppress the weapon seized during a warrantless search, and statements made post-arrest. Officers received and responded to a radio run of “shots fired.” They were approached by Connolly who stated someone shot at him, confirming he called 911. At the premises Cruz opened the door in only boxer shorts and both men were arrested and taken to the precinct. Miranda warnings were read in English, despite officers recognizing he spoke little English, and they spoke with him in Spanish. Cruz testified he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the premises, although not his permanent residence, but an apartment used while working, including the refrigerator inside, in which the weapon was discovered. The court found Cruz exhibited an expectation of privacy in the apartment, and refrigerator, and same was justifiable. Prosecutors claimed they did not obtain a warrant, but the building owner’s consent to search, but never claimed the owner was, or ever was an apartment occupant. The failure of police to engage in limited inquiry of the owner compelled suppression of the gun as the product of an illegal warrantless search of Cruz’s apartment and refrigerator, and his statements.