Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Lagasse

Supreme Court of Maine

October 20, 2016

STATE OF MAINE
v.
CHAD D. LAGASSE

          Argued: September 8, 2016

         On the briefs and at oral argument:

          Christopher J. Coleman, Esq., Law Office of Christine M. Smith, Presque Isle, for appellant Chad Lagasse

          Todd R. Collins, District Attorney, Prosecutorial District 8, Caribou, for appellee State of Main

          Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, [*] JABAR, HJELM, and HUMPHREY, JJ.

          ALEXANDER, J.

         [¶1] Chad D. Lagasse appeals from the judgment and conviction entered in the Superior Court (Aroostook County, Hunter, J.) following a jury verdict finding him guilty of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs pursuant to 17-A M.R.S. § 1105-A(1)(B)(1) (2015).[1] Lagasse contends that the Superior Court erred by denying his motion to suppress. We find no error and affirm the judgment.

         I. CASE HISTORY

         [¶2] When a defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support a finding, we review the evidence-here the evidence at the suppression hearing-and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from that evidence, in the light most favorable to the trial courts findings, to determine whether the court rationally could have found the contested facts at issue. See State v. Murphy, 2016 ME 5, ¶ 5, 130 A.3d 401; State v. Jones, 2012 ME 88, ¶ 7, 46 A.3d 1125.

         [¶3] The Superior Court made the following findings, which are supported by the record. On or about January 3, 2013, two masked men burst into the victims home in Caribou and demanded money from her. At least one of the men brandished a firearm. The victim gave them money, and the men left the victim physically unharmed but shaken. The victim called the Caribou Police Department to report the robbery. She reported that she recognized one of the men as Eric Mowatt but could not identify the other robber. Police located Mowatt within a few hours and interviewed him. At that time, he denied any involvement in the robbery. Based on the victims report, police arrested Mowatt and transported him to the Aroostook County Jail.

         [¶4] Several days later, Mowatt contacted the police from the jail. He admitted his involvement in the robbery and identified Lagasse as his accomplice. He stated that the purpose of the robbery was to obtain money to satisfy Lagasses drug debt. The police continued their investigation but were unable to locate Lagasse.

         [¶5] On January 19, 2013, Mowatt, who had been released on bail, contacted the police to tell them that Lagasse was at a store in Fort Fairfield in a silver Mazda Protégé with a special license plate called a "transport plate." Mowatt provided the license plate number. The lead investigator emailed the officers of the Caribou Police Department to alert them to Lagasses presence in the area. He provided a description of the car and instructed officers to arrest Lagasse if they found him. The lead investigator also instructed officers to find a reasonable basis to stop the car and to use caution when interacting with Lagasse. No warrant for Lagasses arrest was sought.

         [¶6] The following day, a Caribou police officer located a car matching the description provided by Mowatt but could not determine anything about its occupants. The officer was following the car closely enough to read the transport plate when the car suddenly "veered sharply to the right" and changed lanes without signaling. The officer executed a "high risk felony stop" by radioing for assistance, drawing his weapon, and verbally commanding the driver to get out of the car and place his hands on the vehicles roof. When the driver complied, the officer immediately recognized Lagasse and arrested him.

         [¶7] Lagasse was indicted on charges of robbery (Class A), 17-AM.R.S. §651(1)(E) (2015), theft by unauthorized taking or transfer (Class C), 17-AM.R.S. § 353(1)(B)(4) (2015), illegal possession of a firearm (Class C), 15M.R.S. § 393(1)(A-1) (2015), and aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 1105-A(1)(B)(1) (2015). The indictment also included a claim for criminal forfeiture of property, 15 M.R.S. § 5826 (2015). The ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.