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State v. Warren

Superior Court of Maine, Cumberland

March 29, 2019

STATE OF MAINE
v.
ANDREW WARREN, Defendant

          Attorney: MOLLY BUTLER BAILEY STRIKE GOODWIN & O'BRIEN

          State's Attorney: STEPHANIE ANDERSON

          ORDER

          Thomas D. Warren Justice, Superior Court

         Before the court is a motion by defendant Andrew Warren to suppress evidence obtained during a motor vehicle stop on March 6, 2018, which led to the pending charge of Operating After Suspension for an OUI offense. A hearing on the motion was held on March 7, 2019.

         The State has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the stop of the vehicle driven by Warren was based on reasonable articulable suspicion and that the stop was not unduly prolonged.

         The court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

         1. On March 6, 2018 at about 10:30pm officer Todd Meslin and another Gorham police officer went to an apartment building located on Main Street in Gorham seeking Jacob Haskell, who was sought on an arrest warrant for forgery. Outside the building they encountered a man who identified himself as Paul Patriotti, accompanied by a woman who identified herself as Francesca Gallant. The officers spoke to Patriotti and Gallant, who indicated they were visiting a tenant in the building.

         2. The nearest vehicle parked outside the building was a red van, and the officers ran the registration number of that vehicle and found it was registered to Andrew Warren

         3.After Patriotti had entered the building and entered an upstairs apartment, Officer Meslin learned from the dispatcher that there was an active probation warrant for Patriotti. The officers then went in search of Patriotti but learned from the occupant of the apartment that Patriotti had fled out of the back of the building. Meslin could not remember whether Gallant was still in the building at that time, but at a later point it became apparent that she was no longer there as well.

         4.Looking for Patriotti, the Gorham officers requested a K-9 unit, which followed a scent that led to Libby Avenue. The officers also ran a records check on Francesca Gallant and learned the make, model, color, and license plate number of a vehicle registered to her.

         5. Approximately one-half hour later Officer Meslin and another Gorham officer, Sgt. Edwards, still looking for Patriotti and were in their vehicles watching Libby Avenue from Patio Park when they saw what appeared to be the vehicle registered to Gallant approaching along Libby Avenue.

         6. This event is captured on video (with audio only of radio traffic) introduced as State's Ex. 1. As the car approached, the officers could not make out who was driving or whether there were any passengers. Once they confirmed that it was Gallant's vehicle, knowing that Gallant had accompanied Patriotti earlier, and believing that the car could contain Patriotti and/or Gallant, Sgt. Edwards turned on blue lights and stopped the vehicle.

         7.When the officers approached the car, they found that it did not contain either Gallant or Patriotti. The only occupant was the driver, who produced a driver's license identifying himself as Andrew Warren, the defendant in this action and the person whose van had been parked outside the apartment building from which Patriotti had fled. Approximately 90 seconds later one of the officers can be heard on State's Ex. 1 apparently reading Andrew Warren's name and birthdate to the dispatcher. Officer Meslin also looked up Warren's driver's license information on his computer.

         8. During the course of the stop, Officer Meslin also asked Warren about Patriotti, about Gallant, and about Jacob Haskell, [1] but Warren was uncooperative and did not ...


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