Defendant Kyle Barrett's Motion to Suppress Denied.
Zachary Rosen, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department
of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for the State of
Christina L. Ruggiero, Assistant Public Defender, Office of
Defense Services, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for
Defendant Kyle Barrett.
HONORABLE CALVIN L. SCOTT, JR.
the Court is Defendant Kyle Barrett's
("Defendant") Motion to Suppress. Therein,
Defendant challenges the warrantless search of his vehicle as
having violated his right to be free from unreasonable
searches guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution and Article I, § 6 of the Delaware
Constitution. The Court has reviewed and considered the
Parties' written submissions, as well as evidence
provided and arguments made by the Parties at the suppression
hearing. For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion to
Suppress is DENIED.
November 13, 2018, Detective Matthew Donovan of the New
Castle County Police Department was patrolling the Four
Seasons Community in New Castle County, Delaware. Detective
Donovan observed an SUV idling on the side of the road with a
woman in the passenger seat. A man, later identified as
Defendant Kyle Barrett, was leaning into this vehicle on the
passenger side. Detective Donovan conducted a DELJIS inquiry
of the vehicle's registration and determined that the
registration was suspended for a lack of insurance payments
and was also expired.
Detective Donovan passed the vehicle, Defendant entered the
driver seat of the vehicle and began driving. Defendant
pulled the vehicle into a parking spot in front of 31 Sunny
Bend. Defendant and his passenger, Ms. Jefferson, exited the
vehicle and began to walk away from the vehicle. Because
Detective Donovan had passed the vehicle while it was idling,
Detective Donovan needed to do a U-turn in order to initiate
a traffic stop. Accordingly, Detective Donovan did not
initiate the traffic stop until the vehicle was parked.
Donovan instructed Defendant and Ms. Jefferson to
"stop" and return to the vehicle. Ms. Jefferson
complied with Detective Donovan's instructions, but
Defendant did not. Defendant continued walking away from the
vehicle and Detective Donovan. In response to Detective
Donovan's requests for Defendant to stop walking away and
return to the vehicle, Defendant replied: "No. For
what?" Defendant physically resisted arrest once
Detective Donovan caught up with him. Detective Donovan had
to use force on Defendant to effectuate the arrest. Detective
Donovan handcuffed Defendant and placed him in the back of
the police car.
the responding officers searched Ms. Jefferson. The officer
found several empty heroin bags in Ms. Jefferson's bra.
The bags were stamped "www.nocap."
Although Detective Donovan testified that there were
additional heroin bags strewn about the ground around and
underneath the vehicle, bodycam footage of the incident shows
more syringes than bags around and underneath the vehicle.
This paraphernalia was not observed prior to the traffic
stop. Ms. Jefferson told the police officers there was a
large quantity of heroin in the vehicle.
obtaining this information, the responding officers searched
the vehicle. From this search, the officers recovered
additional bags of heroin and crystal methamphetamine.
September 18, 2019, Defendant filed his Motion to Suppress,
arguing that the warrantless search of the vehicle violated
his right to be free from unreasonable searches under the
Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I,
§ 6 of the Delaware Constitution. Defendant argues that
the police did not have probable cause to search the vehicle.