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Wilson v. State

874 P.2d 215 (1994)

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Wilson v. State

Wyoming Supreme Court

874 P.2d 215 (1994)

Facts

Officer Kamron Ritter observed Wesley Wilson (defendant) limping down the sidewalk. Ritter pulled his patrol car over to the see whether Wilson was alright. Ritter smelled alcohol and asked for Wilson’s identification. Ritter called in a routine warrants check. Passersby interrupted the encounter to inform Ritter of a building fire a block away in the direction from which Wilson had walked. Ritter reported the fire and told Wilson to remain in the area while Ritter checked on the fire. Wilson limped another 40 feet in the opposite direction and tried to cross the street. Ritter returned and assisted Wilson across the street, telling Wilson to remain on the street corner and await Ritter’s return. Ritter directed traffic as emergency vehicles arrived. Ritter kept an eye on Wilson. Ten minutes after the initial encounter, dispatch informed Ritter that Wilson had two outstanding warrants. Ritter arrested Wilson on the outstanding warrants. The next morning, Wilson volunteered information that connected him to the fire. Wilson moved to suppress the incriminating information, arguing that Ritter’s initial stop, request for identification, and warrants check constituted an unreasonable seizure. The state (plaintiff) argued that Wilson was not seized until he was arrested on the outstanding warrants. The trial court denied the motion, and a jury convicted Wilson. Wilson appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Taylor, J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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