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The People v. Gary Daniel Easley

March 5, 2013

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
GARY DANIEL EASLEY, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. P04CRF0045)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blease , Acting P. J.

P. v. Easley

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Following the denial of his motion to suppress the evidence (Pen. Code, § 1538.5)*fn1 , defendant Gary Daniel Easley pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine (Health & Saf. Code, § 11377, subd. (a)) in exchange for deferral of judgment and dismissal of the remaining charges. Defendant was granted deferred entry of judgment (diversion) under the provisions of section 1000 et seq., but thereafter twice admitted failing to comply with the terms of his diversion. Following defendant's second violation, the trial court terminated his diversion, placed him on 24 months summary probation, and ordered him to serve 90 days in county jail.

Defendant, in pro. per., appeals, contending the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress, holding him over to trial following his preliminary hearing, and denying his motion to disqualify Judge Eddie Keller. Defendant also contends his trial counsel was ineffective, and that defendant was not required to abide by the terms and conditions of his deferred entry of judgment based on the state's representation in a federal habeas proceeding that it did not have custody over him in this case. Having reviewed the entire record, we discern no error by the trial court and shall conclude that defendant failed to meet his burden of establishing his trial counsel was deficient and/or that defendant was prejudiced by trial counsel's alleged deficiencies.*fn2 Accordingly, we shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Because defendant entered a plea of no contest, we recount the facts from the preliminary hearing transcript.

At 11:30 p.m. on January 15, 2004, El Dorado County Sheriff's Deputies Bears and Starr went to a residence in Pollock Pines to serve a felony arrest warrant on defendant and conduct a probation search of Jennifer Crow. When they arrived Bears went to the back of the house and saw a man and a woman sitting on a couch watching television. Meanwhile, Starr knocked on the front door and defendant answered. Defendant identified himself, Starr informed him there was a warrant for his arrest, and Starr arrested him.

Before going to the residence, Bears learned that Crow also resided at that address, and that she was on searchable probation for drugs. After defendant was arrested, Bears entered the residence and spoke to the woman he had seen sitting on the couch. She identified herself as Jennifer Crow and admitted she was on searchable probation. Deputies conducted a search of the premises based on the fact that Crow was on searchable probation. They found a methamphetamine pipe and a white powder residue on a plate next to the couch where defendant and Crow had been sitting. Defendant said, "[T]hat's mine. That ain't hers." Another methamphetamine pipe was found on the dining room table along with a compact disc with methamphetamine on it. A drinking straw with white residue inside it "consistent with a snorting device" and a piece of tin foil with burn marks "consistent with a method a person uses to . . . inhale methamphetamine smoke" were found in an upstairs bedroom.

As the deputies were about to transport defendant to jail, defendant asked them if they could retrieve his wallet. Bears followed Crow upstairs, and she directed him to a pair of men's pants on a bed. Bears looked inside the pants, located a wallet, opened it, and found a baggie containing more methamphetamine. The methamphetamine found in the wallet weighed 0.9 grams, including the packaging. The wallet also contained defendant's identification. Bears searched the wallet because defendant had asked to take it with him to jail.

DISCUSSION

I

The Trial Court Properly Denied Defendant's Motion to Suppress

Defendant contends the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence because the warrant for his arrest had been recalled prior to his arrest, he advised the deputies of that fact, and the deputies acted unreasonably in failing to call defendant's bondswoman "to rectify the situation," the deputies began searching the residence before ascertaining Crow's identity, and the scope of the search was not reasonable.

Prior to entering his no contest plea, defendant moved to suppress evidence found in his residence on January 15, 2004. According to defendant, the deputies searched his residence before confirming that Crow was the woman at the residence. Defendant argued that once he was arrested, deputies "had no business further entering the house to even ask [the woman] what her name was. . . . [¶] Once they go past him, that right there becomes a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights." At the hearing on the motion to suppress, defendant further asserted that his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution were violated because he was never advised that if he associated with a probationer such as Crow he was essentially waiving his right to privacy.

The following evidence was before the trial court at the hearing on the motion to suppress: Deputies Bears and Starr were members of the El Dorado County Sherriff's Office special enforcement detail--a "crime suppression unit." As members of that unit, their duties included "warrant service [and] probation/parole searches." At 11:30 p.m. on January 15, 2004, they went to a residence in Pollock Pines to serve an arrest warrant on defendant and to conduct a probation search of Crow. Before going to that residence, Bears ran the address through the department's computer service and learned that a woman named Jennifer Crow resided there. Thereafter, he reviewed his "searchable probation list" and discovered that Crow was on searchable probation.

When the deputies arrived at the residence, Bears looked through a window and saw a man and a woman sitting on a couch watching television. Meanwhile, Starr knocked on the door, defendant answered, and Starr immediately placed defendant under arrest. Bears entered the residence and spoke to the woman he had seen sitting on the couch. She identified herself as Jennifer Crow and acknowledged she was on searchable probation. Thereafter, Bears conducted a search of the premises. He found a methamphetamine pipe and a white powder residue on a plate next to the couch where defendant and Crow had been sitting. Defendant told Starr, "[T]hat's mine. That ain't hers." Another methamphetamine pipe was found on the dining room table along with a compact disc with methamphetamine on it.

As they were getting ready to leave, defendant asked if he could take his wallet. Crow went upstairs to a bedroom to get it and Bears followed. Bears asked Crow if she and defendant slept in that bedroom, and she said that they did. Crow motioned to a pair of pants on the bed and stated that defendant's wallet was inside. Bears retrieved the wallet, looked inside, and found a small baggie containing methamphetamine, weighing 0.9 grams, including packaging. The wallet also contained defendant's identification.

Crow testified that the deputies began searching the residence before ascertaining her identity. She told the deputies that she did not live at the residence. The previous year she told a woman from the health department that she was staying there. Crow denied that defendant asked for his wallet. Rather, he asked for his shoes, and Crow went upstairs to get them. She acknowledged that she was on probation on the date in question and was subject to search.

Defendant testified that at the time of his arrest, he was living at the residence in Pollock Pines with his mother. When he opened the door on the night in question, he told Starr about the warrant before Starr even mentioned it. Defendant explained that the warrant had been recalled around 8:00 a.m. that morning. Defendant told Starr and Bears to telephone his bail bondswoman because she had warned him "that this was going to happen pretty much or to be careful." Starr handcuffed defendant, sat him down, and then began "going through stuff." At this point, ...


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