FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COLE COUNTY, MISSOURI THE HONORABLE
PATRICIA S. JOYCE, JUDGE
Division Four: Mark D. Pfeiffer, Presiding Judge, Victor C.
Howard, Judge and Alok Ahuja, Judge
C. HOWARD, JUDGE
State of Missouri appeals the order of the Cole County
Circuit Court granting Leslie Bryan's motion to suppress
evidence. It claims on appeal that the trial court erred
because the affidavit supporting the search warrant was
sufficient to establish probable cause. The suppression order
is reversed, and the case is remanded for further
April 4, 2016, a prosecutor in Cole County sought and
obtained a search warrant. The search warrant application
sought to search an upstairs bedroom at a specified address.
It stated: "The bedroom is on the right side of the
hallway. The bedroom belongs to Leslie Bryan (dob 09/03/1974)
and Kelly Charlton (dob 05/16/1968)." The application
asserted that the following evidence was believed to be
present: "Heroin, oxycontin and other controlled
substances, and all items associated with the possession and
use of controlled substances, including but not limited to
to the application was the affidavit of Officer Ross Hartley.
The affidavit asserted that Officer Hartley had been a police
officer with the Jefferson City Police Department for 11
years. He was investigating a controlled substance violation
at the address specified in the warrant application. The
affidavit further stated:
3. The witness, Camryn Charlton, a resident of the
condominium found narcotics inside the residence. She lives
in the residence with her father and his live-in girlfriend,
Leslie Bryan (dob 09/03/1974). The witness stated on April 3,
2016, while looking for a lost item, she found a black pouch
underneath the bed in her father's and Bryan's
bedroom. The witness stated that the pouch contained needles,
baggies containing a white-powder substance, a spoon, and a
rubber tourniquette [sic]. The witness left the pouch under
4. Today, the witness went back into her father's bedroom
and noted that the pouch was gone, but a black briefcase was
in the room. Her search of the briefcase found needles, a
spoon, plastic pouches, rolling papers, bloody paper-towel
and an 80-count sheet of oxycontin with a sticker from St.
Elizabeth Care Center, at that time, there were 5 pills left.
The sticker stated the pills belonged to Michael W. Wray.
Leslie Bryan is an employee of St. Elizabeth Care Center.
5. Charlton contacted law-enforcement. She gave permission to
search the residence. Charlton's father is currently in
rehab and could not be contacted for permission to search his
and Bryan's bedroom.
Hartley searched the specified bedroom on April 4, 2016, and
found the following: "Black briefcase containing 12
syringes, spoon, rolling papers, elastic strap, sterile pad,
6 oxycontin pills, medical chart, 43 plastic pouches."
was charged with possession of a controlled substance,
section 195.202,  and possession of drug paraphernalia,
section 195.233. Bryan filed a motion to suppress. At the
hearing on the motion, the State proffered evidence in the
form of the testimony of Jefferson City Missouri Police
Officer Ross Hartley and the affidavit in support of the
warrant at issue. The court granted Bryan's motion to
suppress. This interlocutory appeal by the State followed.
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees
that no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause
supported by oath or affirmation." State v.
Rouch, 457 S.W.3d 815, 819 (Mo. App. W.D. 2014)
(internal quotation omitted). There is probable cause to
search when, at the time the judge issues the search warrant,
"there are reasonably trustworthy facts which, given the
totality of the circumstances, are sufficient to lead a
prudent person to believe that the items sought constitute
fruits, instrumentalities, or evidence of crime and will be
present at the time and place of the search."
Id. (internal quotation omitted). "In
determining whether probable cause exists, the issuing
… judge must make a practical, common-sense decision
whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the
affidavit before him or her[, ] there is a fair probability
that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a
particular place." Id. at 819-20 (internal
quotation omitted). "[P]robable cause must be examined
in terms of cause to believe that the evidence sought will
aid in a particular apprehension or conviction."
Id. at 820 (internal quotation omitted).
reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress
evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant, the court gives
great deference to the initial judicial determination of
probable cause that was made at the time the warrant
issued." State v. Neher, 213 S.W.3d 44, 49 (Mo.
banc 2007). "The duty of a reviewing court is simply to
ensure that the issuing judge had a substantial basis for
determining that probable cause for the search did
exist." Id. "The court will only reverse
if the issuing magistrate or judge ...