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The People v. Nathan Louis Lomax

May 14, 2013

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
NATHAN LOUIS LOMAX, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. SF115071A)

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

P. v. Lomax 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

After the denial of his motion to suppress, defendant Nathan Louis Lomax pled no contest to possession of cocaine base for sale and misdemeanor resisting arrest and admitted two prior prison terms and one prior strike. The trial court dismissed a charge of possession of heroin for sale and several other enhancement allegations.

Sentenced to state prison, defendant contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress because the evidence against him was obtained through an illegal detention. We disagree and affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

One night in June 2010, Stockton police officers drove past an apartment complex on East Oak Street several times because the complex was a very high-crime area; there had been several recent shootings there, including one five days before; and there were frequent drug sales. The complex was posted for no loitering, including tenants, and the building manager appreciated the officers doing special checks on the complex.

Each time the officers drove by (several times), they saw defendant loitering in front of the apartment complex. As they got closer, he would walk into the complex and close the door behind him. People at that complex often loitered out front, then went inside the complex and closed the security door behind them, making it hard to approach them safely. Approaching police cars were easily visible from the building; whenever a police car looked as though it was coming to a stop, people would walk away very quickly. Therefore, around 2:00 a.m., several officers approached on foot to do a walk-through of the complex.

After the officers walked up to the complex, one of the officers saw defendant in the hallway "just standing there" for a short period of time. When the officers opened the door and defendant saw them in full uniform, he ran down the hallway, "[taking] off really fast." The officers caught him on the stairwell inside the complex. Upon searching him, they found what appeared to be heroin and rock cocaine.

In an unorthodox procedure, defendant filed a motion to suppress after the criminal complaint was filed against him but before the preliminary examination was held. The motion was based on facts set forth in the moving papers that had apparently been drawn from the police reports. Judge William Johnson denied the motion, finding that the totality of the circumstances gave the police a sufficient basis to detain defendant.

Before the preliminary examination, defendant refiled his motion to suppress without change. At the preliminary examination, Judge Terrence Van Oss declined to consider the renewed motion to suppress, concluding that defendant was not entitled to have the motion heard a second time before he was held to answer.

After defendant was held to answer, he refiled his motion to suppress without change, except that this time he attached police reports of the incident. Judge Seth Hoyt subsequently heard and denied the motion, finding that a ...


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