Submitted on Briefs: January 3, 2019
FROM: District Court of the Nineteenth Judicial District, In
and For the County of Lincoln, Cause No. DC-16-66 Honorable
Matthew J. Cuffe, Presiding Judge.
Appellant: Chad Wright, Appellate Defender, Koan Mercer,
Assistant Appellate Defender, Kathryn Brautigam, Clinical Law
Student, Helena, Montana.
Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Micheal
S. Wellenstein, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana.
Boris, Lincoln County Attorney, Libby, Montana.
McGrath Chief Justice.
Jeremiah James Stevens (Stevens) appeals from the Nineteenth
Judicial District Court's denial of his motion to
suppress. We affirm.
We restate the issues on appeal as follows:
1. Whether the District Court erred in its determination
that the officers' initial investigation was supported by
2.Whether the immediate use of handcuffs amounted to an
unconstitutional arrest unsupported by probable cause.
3. Whether the District Court erred in its determination
that the arrest was supported by probable cause.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On June 26, 2016, at approximately six a.m., Deputy Sheriff
Brandon Holzer (Deputy Holzer) was preparing to transfer a
prisoner from the courthouse in Libby, Montana, to a separate
facility. Deputy Holzer was outside of the prisoner transport
bay door at the north end of the courthouse, when he noticed
a person hiding in the bushes across the street from the
courthouse. According to Deputy Holzer, the person hiding in
the bushes, later identified as Stevens, was "bobbing up
and down." Concerned by Stevens' behavior, Deputy
Holzer delayed the prisoner transport and called for backup.
Trooper Trewick arrived to assist Deputy Holzer. The officers
approached Stevens on foot with their weapons drawn at their
sides. Deputy Holzer ordered Stevens to stand up and show his
hands-Stevens cooperated. Deputy Holzer then asked Stevens to
turn around, Stevens complied, and Deputy Holzer placed