July 14th, 2019
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
United States v. Daniels
Opinion Date: July 10, 2019
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions for distributing crack cocaine, aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and conspiring to distribute powder and crack cocaine. The court held that the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress where exigent circumstances existed justifying the warrantless search, and the officers did not create the exigency. In this case, after officers knocked on defendant's motel room, they heard running throughout the room and the sound of a toilet flushing, which could reasonably suggest that the room's occupants were attempting to destroy evidence. The court also held that the district court did not commit harmful error by not requiring an adverse witness to testify, because the Sixth Amendment did not require the witness to testify. Finally, the court held that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant, and rejected defendant's remaining contentions.
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