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Case No. 18-1961

State of Iowa
v.
Sean Timothy Hunter

Appellee

State of Iowa

Appellant

Sean Timothy Hunter

Attorneys for Appellee

Bridget A. Chambers, Assistant Attorney General

Attorneys for Appellant

John O. Moeller

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
18-1961
Date Published:
Mar 18, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Nancy S. Tabor, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED IN BOTH CASES.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Ahlers, JJ.  Tabor, J., takes no part.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (11 pages)

            In this consolidated appeal, Sean Hunter appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained from his cell phone and the revocation of his probation in a separate criminal case.  On appeal, Hunter argues the seizure of both his person and his cell phone away from his residence and the later search of his cell phone violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution.  He also argues there was insufficient admissible evidence to support his conviction.  Finally, he argues the revocation of his probation and sentence in the separate criminal case must be vacated because the revocation was based on his conviction.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the seizure of Hunter and his cell phone was not constitutionally permitted and the subsequent warrant authorizing search of the phone was fruit of the unlawful seizure.  Therefore, the contents of the cell phone obtained via the subsequent search warrant should have been suppressed and not admitted as evidence at trial.  Due to the improperly obtained evidence being admitted at trial, the conviction and sentence imposed are hereby vacated and the case is remanded for a new trial without admission of the improperly-obtained evidence.  Because the revocation of his probation was based on his vacated conviction, we vacate the revocation of his probation and the sentence imposed and remand that case for further proceedings.

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