State v. Winegar

In State v. Winegar, 147 Ariz. 440, 447, 711 P.2d 579, 586 (1985), the defendant contended that her confession, obtained after four hours of questioning, had resulted from an illegal arrest and should have been suppressed at trial. Id. at 442, 711 P.2d at 581. The Arizona Supreme Courtagreed and overturned her conviction. Id. at 450, 711 P.2d at 589. In that case, the defendant was walking along a city street when four armed officers in uniform and two detectives in plain clothes approached her and her male companion, Tittle, and encircled them. Id. at 443, 711 P.2d at 582. One detective identified himself and ordered the defendant and Tittle "to keep their hands away from their body and not to move." Id. As the officers did a pat-down search of Tittle and found a weapon, an officer ordered the defendant to step away from Tittle and a detective stood next to her. Id. The detectives told the two they wanted to talk with them "away from the street." Id. As our supreme court stated, "the two then accompanied the deputies to... City Hall across the street," without specifically noting whether the police had actually asked the defendant if she was willing to accompany them or whether she had responded to any such request or had simply followed. Id. After the defendant accompanied the officers to city hall, she submitted to a patdown search and consented to accompany them to a sheriffs office several miles away, where she eventually confessed. The defendant was "kept under constant supervision at all times while she was with the officers. Id. at 448, 711 P.2d at 587. For example, an officer "stood in constant guard at the door of the interview room" and "accompanied defendant to the restroom the several times defendant went there." Id. at 443, 711 P.2d at 582. The state conceded that the officers had lacked probable cause to arrest the defendant at the time they initially stopped her on the street. Id. at 444, 711 P.2d at 583. The Winegar court determined that, although the initial stop was a seizure for Fourth Amendment purposes, it was constitutional under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968). 147 Ariz. at 445-46, 711 P.2d at 584-85. But the court concluded that "the initially valid Terry stop became an illegal arrest when the defendant was moved from the street to the City Hall." Id. at 446, 711 P.2d at 585. Because the police did not have probable cause to arrest the defendant, the court ruled they should have briefly searched and questioned her on the street. Id. If no probable cause to arrest arose from that encounter, the police should have released the defendant so as not to exceed the limits of the brief, investigative detention allowed under Terry. Id. at 447, 711 P.2d at 586. Therefore, the court concluded that removing the defendant from the place of the investigative encounter "abrogated" the Terry stop and resulted in an illegal arrest. Id.