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United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
August 6, 2020, Decided
No. 19-12172 Non-Argument Calendar
[*752] PER CURIAM:
Lytle Stephen, Jr. appeals his convictions for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On appeal, he argues that the area of his driveway where he was detained and searched was part of his home's curtilage, and law enforcement lacked any legal justification to enter the curtilage of his home without a warrant. We affirm.
On the night of April 5, 2018, Escambia County sheriff's deputies [**2] investigating a burglary learned that a suspect in the burglary lived in a house on a certain street corner in a high-crime area. The victim of the burglary told them that the suspect drove a green truck that would be parked at the suspect's house. At around 11:40 that night, deputies Brett McCormack, Gregory Goult, and Suzanne Pollock drove to the street corner and observed a green truck parked in front of a house there.
The deputies drove past the green truck and circled back to get the truck's tag number. As they approached the second time, a man standing near the end of the driveway of the home called out to them, asking if they were lost. The deputies stopped and got out to talk to the man. As [*753] they walked toward him, they smelled a strong odor of marijuana wafting from a car parked in the driveway near the street. Both front doors of the car were open and two people, Cody and Cassandra McFarland, were sitting in the front seats. Stephen was sitting alone in the back seat of the car. He started to get out of the rear passenger-side door as the deputies approached, but upon seeing the police, he immediately got back in the car and shut the door.
The deputies ordered everyone to get [**3] out of the car, which they did. According to the deputies, Stephen was behaving strangely. He held what appeared to be a server apron clutched to his chest, and he kept trying to walk around the deputies toward the house. He kept saying that he wasn't doing anything wrong and that he wanted to go inside. The deputies repeatedly told Stephen that he was not free to leave, but he continued to try to edge past them.
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823 Fed. Appx. 751 *; 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 24803 **; 2020 WL 4529927
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, versus LYTLE STEPHEN, JR., Defendant-Appellant.
Notice: PLEASE REFER TO FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE RULE 32.1 GOVERNING THE CITATION TO UNPUBLISHED OPINIONS.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. 3:18-cr-00083-MCR-1.
United States v. Stephen, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28131 (N.D. Fla., Feb. 19, 2019)
driveway, curtilage, marijuana, front, door, parked, street, motion to suppress, searched, arrest, approached, smell, seat, walk
Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Findings of Fact, De Novo Review, Motions to Suppress, Preliminary Proceedings, Pretrial Motions & Procedures, Suppression of Evidence, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Search & Seizure, Scope of Protection, Warrantless Searches, Open Fields, Expectation of Privacy, Stop & Frisk, Reasonable Suspicion