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State v. Hadley

Supreme Court of Montana

September 17, 2019

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
ZACHARY HEINZ HADLEY, Defendant and Appellant.

          Submitted on Briefs: August 21, 2019

          APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Twenty-First Judicial District, In and For the County of Ravalli, Cause No. DC-16-180 Honorable Jeffrey H. Langton, Presiding Judge.

          For Appellant: Chad Wright, Appellate Defender, Kristina L. Neal, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana

          For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Brad Fjeldheim, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana William E. Fulbright, Ravalli County Attorney, Thorin Geist, Deputy County Attorney, Hamilton, Montana


          Mike McGrath Chief Justice.

         ¶1 Pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(c), Montana Supreme Court Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum opinion and shall not be cited and does not serve as precedent. Its case title, cause number, and disposition shall be included in this Court's quarterly list of noncitable cases published in the Pacific Reporter and Montana Reports.

         ¶2 Zachary Heinz Hadley appeals from a December 27, 2016 Twenty-First Judicial District Court order denying his motion to suppress and dismiss. We affirm.

         ¶3 On August 26, 2016, at approximately 12:33 a.m., Police Officer Garrett Koppes of the Hamilton Police Department was dispatched to Jennifer Towner's residence in Hamilton, Montana, in response to a 911 call placed by Towner. Towner said she observed Hadley, her husband or ex-husband, deflating the tires on her vehicle. Koppes phoned Towner, who repeated the information expressed in the 911 call and stated that Hadley was driving a rusty white jeep. While heading to Towner's, Koppes, who was familiar with Hadley, observed him in the driveway at his home unloading a white and tan jeep at approximately 12:42 a.m. Koppes stopped the patrol car on the street without blocking Hadley's exit from the driveway. As Koppes approached Hadley, he greeted him colloquially, asking, "What's up Zach?" Hadley responded, "How you doing man?" Koppes asked Hadley what had happened at Towner's residence. Hadley responded that he was having marital problems with Towner, that he was taking some of his belongings home, and that he had come directly from Towner's. Koppes then asked Hadley a series of questions, including whether he did something to Towner's car, to which Hadley replied, "I don't think so."

         ¶4 Shortly after this initial exchange, a second officer arrived at the scene and parked across the street from Hadley's. Koppes reported that he observed Hadley's eyes were bloodshot and watery, that Hadley was swaying, and that Koppes could smell alcohol on his breath. Koppes asked Hadley if he had been drinking and Hadley replied that he had consumed "a few drinks." When Koppes asked Hadley if he had just driven home, Hadley changed his initial story, responding that he came from his mother's house and had been home for a couple of hours. Koppes felt the hood of Hadley's jeep and found it "very warm," indicating it had recently been running, at which point he informed Hadley he was going to conduct a Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") investigation. Koppes then began field sobriety tests.

         ¶5 During the tests, Hadley admitted that he was intoxicated but that he had not been driving. Hadley struggled with the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, refused to complete the walk and turn test, and had difficulty completing the one leg stand test. Hadley agreed to provide a breath sample in the portable breath test and blew a .229. Hadley was then placed under arrest for DUI and transported to the Ravalli County Detention Center. There, Hadley provided three breath samples, indicating a .186 blood alcohol concentration. Hadley was booked for DUI.

         ¶6 During the inventory search, officers discovered one white pill in Hadley's possession, determined to be a hydrocodone tablet, a schedule II controlled substance pursuant to § 50-32-224, MCA. Hadley told Koppes he did not have a prescription for the drug.

         ¶7 On August 30, 2016, the District Court granted leave to the State to charge Hadley with Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs, a felony, in violation of § 45-9-102(4), MCA, and Aggravated DUI, a misdemeanor, in violation of § 61-8-465, MCA. On September 21, 2016, Hadley entered a plea of not guilty and the case was set for trial.

         ¶8 On November 15, 2016, Hadley filed a motion to suppress all evidence obtained in the search and subsequent arrest, arguing that the arrest was illegal. He sought to dismiss the case with prejudice for lack of particularized suspicion and probable cause to arrest. The District Court denied the motion on the bases that: (1) Hadley was not seized during the initial interaction with Officer Koppes in front of his house, and therefore particularized suspicion was not required; and (2) Officer Koppes had particularized suspicion to detain Hadley to conduct a DUI investigation.

         ¶9 On February 1, 2017, the parties advised the District Court that a plea agreement had been reached. Hadley withdrew his not guilty pleas and entered a guilty plea for the Criminal Possession charge and a no contest plea for the Aggravated DUI charge, reserving his right to appeal the ...

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