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. Collins

Superior Court of Maine, Kennebec

December 18, 2017

STATE OF MAINE
v.
MATTHEW J. COLLINS

          ORDER ON PENDING MOTIONS

          WILLIAM R. STOKES STOKES JUSTICE.

         INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Before the court for resolution are: (1) Defendant's Motion to Suppress dated June 16, 2017, i.e., a blood sample taken from him pursuant to a search warrant, [1] and; (2) Defendant's Motion for Sanctions dated July 6, 2017. A hearing on the motions was held on November 28, 2017 at which the court received the testimony of Maine State Trooper Klayton Peckham. The court admitted into evidence State's (Plaintiffs) Exhibits 1 and 2, and Defendant's Exhibits 2, 3, 4 and 7.

         On January 20, 2017, the Defendant was charged by means of a Uniform Summons and Complaint with OUI (alcohol) (Class D). On March 13, 2017, the Defendant was charged by a long-form complaint with the offense of criminal OUI, with the aggravating factor alleged that the Defendant was tested as having a BAC of .15 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath.

         In February and March 2017, counsel for the Defendant made discovery requests to the District Attorney's Office seeking, among other items, the search warrant affidavit and any e-mails between the affiant (Trooper Peckham) and the Justice of the Peace who issued the warrant. On June 19, 2017, the Defendant filed his Motion to Suppress Evidence dated June 16, 2017. A testimonial hearing on that motion was conducted on June 27, 2017 at which the court received the testimony of Winthrop Police Officer Kenneth Tabor, who has been trained as a law enforcement "blood draw technician.". Officer Tabor testified concerning his taking of a sample of blood from the Defendant on January 13, 2017 at the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

         During the hearing on June 27, 2017, Defense Counsel brought up the subject of his discovery requests to the District Attorney's Office, specifically the search warrant request and affidavit and the e-mails. The e-mails were sought because Trooper Peckham utilized the procedure set forth in M.R.U.Crim.P. 41C, pertaining to search warrant requests made outside the presence of the court or justice of the peace. The court ordered the State to provide Defense Counsel with the affidavit in support of the search warrant and "the e-mails between the Affiant and the Justice of the Peace by July 5, 2017." The court further ordered that a hearing on the Defendant's challenge to the search warrant would be scheduled when the e-mails had been provided in discovery.

         On July 10, 2017, the Defendant filed a Motion for Sanctions dated July 6, 2017 asserting that the e-mails had not been provided by the State by July 5, 2017 as ordered by the court on June 27, 2017.

         Based upon the evidence presented at the hearings on June 27, 2017 and November 28, 2017, [2] and after considering the arguments of counsel, the court makes the following findings of fact.

         FACTS

         On January 13, 2017 at approximately 7:11 p.m., [3] Trooper Klayton Peckham responded to a motor vehicle crash in Farmingdale. One male, identified as the Defendant Matthew Collins, was in the vehicle. The Trooper observed that the Defendant was slurring his speech, smelled strongly of alcohol, was disoriented and confused, had bloodshot and dilated eyes, and had apparently driven his vehicle into a ditch where it landed on its side. Trooper Peckham started the process of drafting an affidavit and request for a search warrant for a sample of the Defendant's blood.[4] He utilized the process authorized by Rule 41C, which permits the issuance of a search warrant by a court or justice of the peace when the applicant is not in the physical presence of the issuing magistrate.

         After preparing the affidavit on his cruiser laptop, Trooper Peckham e-mailed it to Justice of the Peace Jennifer Bryant, Esq. This occurred at approximately 9:00 p.m. on January 13, 2017. (State's Exhibit 1). In sending the affidavit to the magistrate, Trooper Peckham recognized that the box on the form authorizing a nighttime or daytime search could not be checked off. At 9:01 p.m. he e-mailed the magistrate as follows: "I was unable to check the box but this will be for a daytime or nighttime warrant. I will check those boxes once I print off the documents." (State' Exhibit 1).

         The affidavit transmitted to the justice of the peace amply establishes probable cause to believe that the Defendant had operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and this issue will not be discussed further.[5] The affidavit, however, was not actually signed by Trooper Peckham. Rather, it states: "Subscribed and sworn to by Trooper Klayton Peckham before me this 13th day of January, 2077." The italicized language was hand-written in the spaces on the affidavit form. Although this issue was not addressed at the hearing, the court concludes, based on the exhibits, that the hand-writing is that of Justice of the Peace Bryant. Immediately following the attestation statement is the magistrate's signature and Bar number. (State's Exhibit 1; Defendant's Exhibit 7). On cross-examination Trooper Peckham testified that he did not "take an oath" over the phone before the justice of the peace. He was not asked any follow-up questions as to whether and how he "attested to [the] contents" of his affidavit. The form Affidavit and Request for Search Warrant contains the following statement, however: "Under oath/affirmation, the information in my statement dated 01-13-17 is true . . . ."

         The justice of the peace issued the warrant at 9:13 p.m. on January 13, 2017. The warrant, as issued by the magistrate and returned to Trooper Peckham, did not have any box checked as to whether the search was: (1) a daytime warrant only, (2) a daytime or nighttime warrant, or (3) a nighttime warrant only. (Defendant's Exhibit 7; see also Warrant in SW-17-19 file). Nevertheless, the copy of the search warrant supplied to the District Attorney's Office by Trooper Peckham, and then provided to Defense Counsel by way of discovery, has an "X" mark in the box designating it as a "nighttime or daytime warrant." (Defendant's Exhibit 2). This was consistent with the Trooper's e-mail to the justice of the peace at 9:01 p.m. on January 13, 2017.

         After the justice of the peace signed the warrant and e-mailed it back to Trooper Peckham, he printed it off on his cruiser printer and drove to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where the Defendant has been taken for medical treatment. Shortly before 11:00 p.m. Officer Tabor arrived at the hospital and met Trooper Peckham. He was taken to where the Defendant was and proceeded to draw two vials of blood from him. Officer Tabor completed the paperwork for the blood kit and handed it to Trooper Peckham. Officer Tabor testified that he saw the search warrant before he drew blood from the Defendant. Trooper Peckham's inventory indicates that the warrant was ...


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.