Ex parte Morgan

In Ex parte Morgan, 641 So. 2d 840, 843 (Ala. 1994) the Court granted certiorari review to determine whether certain evidence seized following a warrantless search was admissible. On the day Morgan was arrested, two Florida law enforcement officers, an F.B.I. agent whose office was in Florida, and an agent from the United States Customs Service, accompanied Alabama officers to the motel room where Morgan was staying. One of the Florida officers had in his possession two Florida warrants for Morgan's arrest for sexual battery. Morgan did not consent to the officer's request to enter the room and to conduct a search. Once one of the Florida officers informed Morgan that he had a warrant for his arrest, however, Morgan allowed the officers to enter the room. An officer from the Gulf Shores Police Department arrested Morgan for being a fugitive from justice based on the Florida warrants, though he did not have a fugitive-from-justice warrant as required by 15-9-40, Ala. Code 1975. While the Alabama officers were in Morgan's motel room, they observed a number of items that had been described by Alabama victims recounting the circumstances of the offenses against them. The Alabama officers then procured a search warrant and recovered certain items of evidence. Moving to suppress the evidence found in his motel room, Morgan contended that the seizure was based on an illegal warrantless arrest. The trial court denied the motion to suppress and admitted the evidence. Morgan was convicted of kidnapping, possession of obscene material, enticement, and indecent exposure. On appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals held that, while the warrantless arrest was invalid because the arrest did not meet the requirements of 15-9-40 and 15-9-41, sufficient probable cause existed to arrest Morgan for sexual offenses occurring in Alabama and, therefore, "because the arrest was proper, the search and seizure of the incriminating evidence was legal, and the trial court correctly denied the appellant's motion to suppress." Morgan v. State, 641 So. 2d 834, 838 (Ala. Crim. App. 1992).