This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).




State of Minnesota,



Casey James Hanson,


Filed December 9, 1997


Amundson, Judge

Lincoln County District Court

File No. K89654

John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Marie L. Wolf, Assistant State Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (for appellant)

Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General, John B. Galus, Assistant Attorney General, 1400 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101; Michael W. Cable, Lincoln County Attorney, P. O. Box 190, 214 North Norman Street, Ivanhoe, MN 56142 (for respondent)

Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Harten, Judge, and Amundson, Judge.



Appellant challenges the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained at his warrantless arrest. Because we see no abuse of the trial court's discretion, we affirm.


On December 11, 1995, numerous stores in Tyler and Arco, Minnesota were burglarized. The Lincoln County Sheriff immediately suspected three individuals from Brookings, South Dakota--Jeffrey Tomlinson; Kristi Casey; and Adam Jaragoske--whom he had detained and released earlier that morning. He sent a request to the Brookings Police Department to locate and detain the individuals.

When the Brookings police officers went to Jaragoske's home, the three suspects were inside, along with Chris Hacker, Shawn Balderston, and Chad Knobloch. After Jaragoske consented to a search of the home, the officers identified a pry bar, a flashlight, a knife, five cartons of cigarettes, 89 lighters, rolls of change, and a jar of loose change, in addition to numerous other items. The officers also located a red, "Canby, Minnesota" bank bag containing a large sum of money and some keys; Jaragoske said the bag was Knobloch's.

The officers detained and subsequently interviewed the three suspects regarding the evidence seized and the robberies in Minnesota. The suspects stated that they had seen appellant Casey Hanson, Knobloch, and Hacker in possession of stolen goods from eight break-ins they admitted committing in Minnesota. Two of the three suspects also gave statements regarding their roles in a previous burglary two nights before in Canby, Minnesota.

Based on this information, Brookings officers went to appellant's apartment to arrest him. When appellant opened the door, the officer identified himself and told appellant that he needed to come to the station for questioning. There were two other people in the apartment, Jennifer Granum and Scott Cody, who were also asked to come to the station for questioning. The officer did not have arrest warrants.

After observing Cody trying to hide something under the cushion of the couch, the officer entered the interior of the apartment and seized a small pipe and a lighter. The officer also seized a large sum of money that appellant was attempting to hide. The officers received written permission to search from the leaseholder of the apartment and found drug paraphernalia, cartons of cigarettes, lighters, and a bottle of liquor.

Appellant was charged with 29 counts ranging from burglary to felony criminal damage. Before trial, appellant moved to suppress the evidence taken in conjunction with his warrantless arrest. The court denied appellant's motion. Appellant was convicted of 26 of the 29 counts charged. This appeal followed.


I. Probable Cause

Appellant asserts that the Brookings police officers did not have probable cause to arrest him in his apartment.

A determination of whether the police had probable cause to arrest is a determination of constitutional rights, and this court makes an independent review of the facts to determine the reasonableness of the police officer's actions.

State v. Olson, 436 N.W.2d 92, 94 (Minn. 1989), aff'd, 495 U.S. 91, 110 S. Ct. 1684 (1990). The test of whether officers had probable cause to arrest appellant without a warrant is

whether the officers in the particular circumstances, conditioned by their own observations and information and guided by the whole of their police experience, reasonably could have believed that a crime had been committed by the person to be arrested.


In the instant case, appellant's arrest was predicated on the detailed statements given by Casey, Tomlinson, and Jaragoske that Knobloch and appellant had committed the crimes in Minnesota. Casey told police that when she, Jaragoske, and Tomlinson returned to Jaragoske's mobile home around 7:30 a.m. on December 11, she observed appellant and Knobloch counting money on the floor. Knobloch said that they had robbed about eight gas stations. There were also two salamis, 300 Bic lighters, 10 cartons of cigarettes, and $600 in cash on the floor. Casey also stated that appellant was planning to leave town.

Tomlinson said that when the three returned to Jaragoske's after being held in Minnesota, appellant, Knobloch, and Chris Hacker were waiting for them. He said that he saw a red bag on the floor that contained quite a few cartons of cigarettes.

Jaragoske told police that when he returned to his mobile home, he observed appellant, Hacker, and Knobloch with a blue and white duffel bag, a Rubbermaid footlocker, and a black zipper bag that had not been at the mobile home when Jaragoske left. During the initial search of the home, Jaragoske also told Brookings police that appellant and Knobloch had "done it."

In addition, Casey and Tomlinson admitted committing a burglary on December 9 with Knobloch, and intending to commit more burglaries on December 11. Also, Tomlinson testified that they planned to commit these burglaries as part of a scheme to split into teams and commit burglaries in Minnesota.

When a person admits to a crime in addition to providing information, the admission lends itself to credibility that would support a finding of probable cause. United States v. Harris, 403 U.S. 573, 583, 91 S. Ct. 2075, 2082 (1971) ("Admission of crimes, like admissions against proprietary interests, carry their own indicia of credibility--sufficient at least to support a finding of probable cause * * *.").

Based on the information from Casey, Tomlinson, and Jaragoske, the police officers "reasonably could have believed that a crime had been committed by the person to be arrested," and therefore had probable cause to arrest appellant. See Olson, 436 N.W.2d at 94.

II. Illegal Arrest

Appellant contends that even if probable cause did exist to believe he had committed a crime, the police acted illegally in arresting him without a warrant in his home. Appellant relies on Payton v. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 586, 589-90, 100 S. Ct. 1371, 1380, 1381-82 (1980) (holding that warrantless arrest by police in home or similar area where suspect has privacy interest is per se unreasonable absent exigent circumstances).[1]

In State v. Howard, 373 N.W.2d 596 (Minn. 1985), the supreme court upheld a warrantless arrest that was effectuated when the defendant opened his door and took a few steps back as if to invite the police in. The court stated: "Payton does not prohibit a nonexigent warrantless arrest initiated at the threshold of a suspect's residence if the suspect voluntarily opens the door in response to knocking by the police." Id. at 598. The Howard court went on to note that the arrest would have been valid even if the defendant had slammed the door in the officers' faces. Id. at 599; see also United States v. Santana, 427 U.S. 38, 42-43, 96 S. Ct. 2406, 2409 (1976) (holding that nonexigent warrantless arrest of woman in doorway to her house was valid because doorway could be considered public); State v. Patricelli, 324 N.W.2d 351 (Minn. 1982) (holding Payton does not prohibit a nonexigent warrantless arrest at the threshold of defendant's residence).

Here, the arresting officer stated that when he approached appellant's apartment, he knocked on the door and identified himself as a police officer. When appellant opened the door, appellant identified himself and the officer told him that he needed to go downtown to answer some questions. The officer stated that he was standing "right in the door of the apartment" and that he entered the apartment when he saw Scott Cody attempt to hide something underneath the cushion of the couch. The officer concedes that he was initially standing in such a way that prevented appellant from slamming the door; however, as earlier noted, the arrest would have been valid even if the door had been slammed in the officer's face. See Howard, 373 N.W.2d at 599.




Judge Roland C. Amundson

[1] State argues that appellant waived his right to raise the Payton issue because he did not raise it with the trial court. See State v. Roby, 463 N.W.2d 506, 508 (Minn. 1990) (holding that defendant who argued "no exigent circumstances" and "lack of a warrant" only in context of challenging probable cause waived his right to challenge warrantless, domiciliary arrest in violation of Payton). Appellant's argument regarding probable cause, however, was merely an extension of his argument regarding the "totality of the circumstances" test for valid warrantless arrests adopted in State v. Gray, 456 N.W.2d 251, 255-56 (Minn. 1990). Appellant challenged the validity of the warrantless search and may raise this issue on appeal.