Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
August 9, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Robertson County No.
74CC-2015-CR-445 William R. Goodman, III, Judge
to a negotiated plea agreement, Defendant, Bobby Jay Fuqua,
pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of an
intoxicant (DUI), fourth offense. He properly reserved a
certified question of law regarding whether the police
officer had reasonable suspicion to seize the Defendant. Upon
reviewing the record and the applicable law, we conclude that
the evidence supports the trial court's finding that the
police officer had reasonable suspicion to seize Defendant.
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Shannon L. Crutcher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Bobby Jay Fuqua.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie
E. Price, Senior Counsel; John W. Carney, District Attorney
General; and Jason White, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., and J. Ross Dyer, JJ.,
T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE
was indicted for DUI, fourth offense, driving with a blood or
breath alcohol content of .08 percent or greater, driving on
a suspended or revoked license, second offense, violation of
the open container law, violation of the implied consent law,
and indecent exposure. Defendant filed a motion to suppress,
asserting that the police officer did not have reasonable
suspicion or probable cause necessary to justify the seizure.
Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied
to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(A),
Defendant entered a plea of guilty to fourth offense DUI and
reserved as a dispositive question of law for appeal the
issue of the lawfulness of the seizure. The negotiated plea
agreement provided for a sentence of one year in jail,
suspended after serving 150 days, and a concession that
Defendant was a habitual motor vehicle offender. The
remaining counts were dismissed. An agreed order was entered
by the trial court reserving the following certified question
Did Officer Lloyd possess reasonable suspicion based on
specific and articulable facts at the time he activated his
vehicle's blue lights and seized the Defendant within
the meaning of the Fourth Amendment of the United States
Constitution and Article I, Section 7 of the Tennessee
Constitution that the Defendant had committed, or was about
to commit, a criminal offense?
Michael Lloyd of the Springfield Police Department testified
that on February 12, 2015, at 10:05 p.m., he was on routine
patrol and driving westbound on Central Avenue, a three-lane
road with businesses primarily located along the street.
Corporal Lloyd drove by a car wash where he saw a vehicle
parked by the vacuum cleaner stalls in a well-lit parking lot
and a man standing beside the driver's door. Corporal
Lloyd said the man appeared to be urinating in the parking
lot. Corporal Lloyd said the man "had his hands at his
waist, … looking down, consistent with what all of us
would view as a person that's probably urinating in
public." Corporal Lloyd demonstrated for the trial court
the position in which he saw the man. The record reflected
that Corporal Lloyd had his hands by his groin area and his
shoulders bent over.
Lloyd made a "U-turn" at an intersection and
proceeded back to the area to verify his observations. He
stated that as he was driving back to the area, he saw a
large mass of fluid beginning to drain toward Central Avenue
from where the man had been standing. Corporal Lloyd said
that the fluid could not have come from the wash bay but that
he believed the fluid was from the man urinating in public.
Corporal Lloyd drove his patrol car into the parking lot ...