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State v. Savage

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

September 19, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
FRAZIER LEE SAVAGE

          Assigned on Briefs April 23, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 106159 Bob R. McGee, Judge

         The Defendant, Frazier Lee Savage, was convicted by a Knox County Criminal Court jury of possession with intent to sell less than fifteen grams of heroin within 1,000 feet of a child care agency, a Class B felony; possession with intent to deliver less than fifteen grams of heroin within 1,000 feet of a child care agency, a Class B felony; possession with intent to sell alprazolam within 1,000 feet of a child care agency, a Class D felony; possession with intent to deliver alprazolam within 1,000 feet of a child care agency, a Class D felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. See T.C.A. §§ 39-17-417(a)(2) (2018) (possession with intent to deliver), 39-17-417(a)(3) (possession with intent to sell), 39-17-425 (2018) (possession of drug paraphernalia), 39-17-432 (2018) (providing enhanced penalties for drug offenses committed in Drug-Free School Zones). After a sentencing hearing, the trial court merged the two heroin counts and the two alprazolam counts and imposed an effective twelve-year sentence at 100% service. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the evidence obtained from a warrantless search of a motel room. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee for the appellant, Frazier Lee Savage.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; Hector Sanchez and Miriam Johnson, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE

         The Defendant's convictions relate to a March 5, 2015 incident, in which a Knoxville Police Department (KPD) officer received a tip from an informant that the Defendant was the subject of a Michigan arrest warrant and that he was staying at a Super 8 Motel in Knoxville. The officer and other members of the KPD Repeat Offender Squad went to the motel with a photograph of the Defendant, found him, arrested him, and performed a warrantless search of the room after removing the Defendant. The officers discovered digital scales, a large amount of money, two cell phones, and a black bag. Inside the black bag, the officers found eleven grams of heroin, prescription medication which was not accompanied by prescribing information for the Defendant, a bus ticket, and a money transfer receipt bearing the Defendant's name.

         Suppression Hearing

         At the suppression hearing, KPD Officer Adam Broome testified that he received a tip from an informant that the Defendant had an extraditable Michigan arrest warrant. He said that the informant told him the Defendant possessed heroin and was staying in a room at a Knoxville Super 8 Motel. Officer Broome said that he and other officers verified the warrant before going to the motel. He said that they knocked on the motel door, that the Defendant opened it, and that Officer Broome recognized the Defendant from a photograph. Officer Broome said that they arrested the Defendant and that they performed an initial "sweep" of the motel room. Officer Broom said standard procedure involved doing a sweep of a room to ensure officer safety after arresting a suspect.

         Officer Broome testified that, after the sweep, he asked the Defendant for consent to search the room. Officer Broome said that he was the first officer to ask for consent to search and that the Defendant consented. Officer Broome recalled that several officers asked for and received consent, as well. Officer Broome said that none of the officers had a written consent to search form, that no one asked the Defendant to give written consent, and that the Defendant was cooperative. Officer Broome stated that neither he nor the other officers read the Defendant his Miranda rights until the Defendant was at the police station.

         Officer Broome testified that before taking photographs, he saw a plastic bag corner on the table inside the room. He said that the officers found heroin, medication, digital scales, and money inside a black bag during the search. He said they found an iPhone plugged into a charger near the bag. He recalled the Defendant's saying that the black bag was not his and that the Defendant claimed he did not know the bag was in the room, despite its containing a money transfer receipt bearing the Defendant's name. Officer Broome said the Defendant was the only occupant of the room.

         KPD Officer Brandon Stryker testified that Officer Broome informed him that the Defendant had an outstanding warrant. Officer Stryker recalled that Officer Holmes knocked on the door and that the Defendant opened the door. Officer Stryker said he identified the Defendant, went into the room, and arrested the Defendant. Officer Stryker said he did not ask the Defendant for consent to search the room, but he recalled that the Defendant was asked and that he consented. Officer Stryker recalled that Officer Jinks and Officer Holmes informed the Defendant multiple times of his right to rescind ...


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