Corea v. State
In Corea v. State, 52 S.W.3d 311 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 2001, pet. ref'd), the State showed that the appellant's brother-in-law did have authority to common areas of the apartment. Corea, 52 S.W.3d at 316.
However, the State failed to show that the brother-in-law had the authority to consent to a search of the appellant's bedroom. Id.
The Corea court rejected the State's argument that the open door to the bedroom was evidence showing the brother-in-law's common authority over the bedroom. Id. at 316-17.
The brother-in-law had told police at the scene that no one other than Corea lived in the bedroom, and so, the court concluded, the brother-in-law did not have equal control and access to the bedroom that would give him the authority to consent to a search of the bedroom. Id. at 316.
Similarly, in Corea, since the brother-in-law had informed the police that no one other than Corea lived in the bedroom, the circumstances did not support a reasonable belief that the brother-in-law had authority to consent to the search of the bedroom. Corea, 52 S.W.3d at 317.
When the circumstances regarding the brother-in-law's authority to consent appeared ambiguous, the police were obligated to investigate further and/or obtain a search warrant. Id.
Their search without having done so was unreasonable. Id.