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State v. Nelson

638 A.2d 720 (1994)

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State v. Nelson

Maine Supreme Judicial Court

638 A.2d 720 (1994)

Facts

While on patrol at 1:30 in the morning on Christmas Eve, Officer Michael Holmes noticed a car belonging to his former neighbor, Bruce Moore, parked in the lot of a retirement community where there had been complaints of theft. Holmes pulled into an adjacent lot and, peering through binoculars, observed a white pickup belonging to Theodore Nelson (defendant) pull into the spot next to Moore’s car. Nelson shut off the motor. Holmes observed Nelson and Moore drink from a 16-ounce can of beer. About 50 minutes later, Moore exited the pickup, and Nelson started the engine, left the parking lot, and passed Holmes. Holmes pulled Nelson over. Nelson had not driven erratically or violated any traffic laws. Nor did Nelson’s truck appear to have any mechanical issues. Nelson was arrested and charged by the state (plaintiff) with driving under the influence. Nelson moved to suppress evidence of his intoxication as the result of an illegal stop. The trial court denied the motion, and the jury convicted Nelson. Nelson appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Glassman, J.)

Dissent (Collins, J.)

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