Submitted: July 18, 2018
Defendant's Motion to Suppress. Granted.
Gregory R. Babowal, Esquire of the Department of Justice,
Dover, Delaware; attorney for the State.
Anthony J. Capone, Esquire of the Office of the Public
Defender, Dover, Delaware; attorney for the Defendant.
WILLIAM L. WITHAM, JR. RESIDENT JUDGE
consideration of the Defendant's, Matthew A.
Layton's, Motion to Suppress and the State of
Delaware's Response in opposition, it appears that:
March 27, 2018, at approximately 6:32 P.M., Trooper First
Class ("Tfc") Holl of the Delaware State Police
observed a vehicle parked in an unmarked, paved area that
extended past the side of the Sandtown Deli in Felton,
Delaware. The paved area, although unmarked, appears to the
Court to be an overflow lot for the deli.
Three men were standing next to the vehicle with the doors
officer believed that the vehicle's location was
suspicious, especially because the officer had previously
arrested another individual in the same location for dealing
Tfc. Holl began to re-position his patrol vehicle to
"conduct a stop" of the parked vehicle, he observed
the three men get into the vehicle. The officer further
observed the men shifting around in the vehicle, as if to
possibly hide or conceal illegal contraband.
Holl then positioned his patrol vehicle in front of the
parked vehicle, blocking the occupants from leaving. Next,
the officer exited his vehicle and approached the occupants
of the parked vehicle.
Defendant, sitting in the passenger seat of the parked
vehicle, informed Tfc Holl that he had driven his own vehicle
to the deli and that he was merely "talking" with
another occupant of the parked vehicle, who he identified as
his uncle. During this conversation, according to Tfc. Holl,
the Defendant displayed "obvious signs of
nervousness." The officer also noticed that the
Defendant had a pocket knife, which he immediately turned
over to the officer. Tfc. Holl subsequently instructed the
Defendant to wait in front of the officer's patrol
Holl asked the occupant located in the driver's seat of
the vehicle how he was related to the Defendant. The occupant
replied that he was not the Defendant's uncle,
"however they were good friends." The occupant also
confirmed that he and the Defendant were "talking"
prior to the officer's approach. During this time, the
Defendant paced back and forth in front of Tfc. Holl's
After speaking with the occupant located in the driver's
seat of the parked vehicle, Tfc. Holl approached the
Defendant. The officer asked the Defendant why he appeared
nervous. The Defendant stated that he was cold. But, Tfc.
Holl noticed that he was wearing multiple layers of clothing,
including a thick flannel shirt and hooded sweatshirt.
Holl also noticed a bulge in the front pocket of the
Defendant's sweatshirt. As a result, the officer claimed
that he decided to conduct a "pat-down" of the
Defendant's clothing. However, the officer immediately
reached out, grabbed the bulge, and asked "what is this?
Is it crack?" The Defendant replied, "you know what
that is, drugs man" and "I ain't gonna run
dude, I ain't gonna run." Tfc. Holl removed the
object from the interior of the Defendant's sweatshirt
asked again, "what is this?," the Defendant further
stated that "it's a scale, and some crystal."
"Crystal" referring, of course, to Methamphetamine.
The Defendant also told Tfc. Holl that he was in possession