LITTLE ROCK — A Pulaski County circuit judge erred when he granted a robbery suspect’s motion to suppress evidence seized from his North Little Rock home, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
In the 5-2 decision, the high court ordered a new hearing in the case of Kendrick Robinson, who was arrested in 2011 in the armed robbery of a Sherwood gas station.
During a hearing, Robinson, who was charged with aggravated robbery, theft of property and possession of firearms, argued that evidence found in his home during a search was illegally obtained because the Sherwood officers who conducted the search were out of their jurisdiction.
During the search, officers found a .30-.30 rifle, ammunition, a spent casing from the gun and other items.
Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen granted Robinson’s motion, saying the search violated his constitutional rights because there was no interagency agreement cooperation between Sherwood police and North Little Rock police.
In Thursday’s majority opinion, written by Justice Donald Corbin, the high court said the search was constitutional.
"Contrary to the circuit court’s finding, there is no rule of criminal procedure, statute or case law establishing a bright-line rule that in order for a police officer to execute a search warrant outside his jurisdiction there must be an interagency agreement or interagency cooperation to validate the search," Corbin wrote.
Joining Corbin in the majority were Chief Justice Jim Hannah and Justice Courtney Hudson Goodson, Paul Danielson and Cliff Hoofman.
In a dissenting opinion, Justice Karen Baker said the Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to consider the appeal.
"Because the issues brought on appeal by the state are not important to the correct and uniform administration of the criminal law, the matters before us do not constitute a proper state appeal," she said. "Accordingly, we do not have jurisdiction and I would dismiss the appeal."
Joining Baker in the dissent was Justice Josephine Hart.