Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure: Motions to
Suppress: Appeal and Error. In reviewing a trial
court's ruling on a motion to suppress based on a claimed
violation of the Fourth Amendment, an appellate court applies
a two-part standard of review. Regarding historical facts, an
appellate court reviews the trial court's findings for
clear error, but whether those facts trigger or violate
Fourth Amendment protection is a question of law that an
appellate court reviews independently of the trial
Motions to Suppress: Trial: Pretrial Procedure:
Appeal and Error. When a motion to suppress is
denied pretrial and again during trial on renewed objection,
an appellate court considers all the evidence, both from
trial and from the hearings on the motion to suppress.
Sentences: Appeal and Error. An appellate
court will not disturb a sentence imposed within the
statutory limits absent an abuse of discretion by the trial
Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure. The
Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and article I,
§ 7, of the Nebraska Constitution guarantee against
unreasonable searches and seizures.
Search and Seizure: Evidence: Trial.
Evidence obtained as the fruit of an illegal search or
seizure is inadmissible in a state prosecution and must be
Constitutional Law: Police Officers and Sheriffs:
Search and Seizure: Arrests. The Nebraska Supreme
Court has described three tiers of police-citizen encounters.
A tier-one police-citizen encounter involves the voluntary
cooperation of the citizen elicited through non-coercive
questioning and does not involve any restraint of liberty of
the citizen. Because tier-one encounters do not rise to the
level of a seizure, they are outside the realm of Fourth
Amendment protection. A tier-two [297 Neb. 266]
police-citizen encounter involves a brief, nonintrusive
detention during a frisk for weapons or preliminary
questioning. A tier-three police-citizen encounter
constitutes an arrest, which involves a highly intrusive or
lengthy search or detention. Tier-two and tier-three
police-citizen encounters are seizures sufficient to invoke
the protections of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitutional Law: Search and Seizure. A
seizure in the Fourth Amendment context occurs only if, in
view of all the circumstances surrounding the incident, a
reasonable person would have believed that he or she was not
free to leave.
Police Officers and Sheriffs: Search and
Seizure. In addition to situations where an officer
directly tells a suspect that he or she is not free to go,
circumstances indicative of a seizure may include the
threatening presence of several officers, the display of a
weapon by an officer, some physical touching of the
citizen's person, or the use of language or tone of voice
indicating the compliance with the officer's request
might be compelled.
Constitutional Law: Police Officers and Sheriffs:
Search and Seizure. An officer's merely
questioning an individual in a public place, such as asking
for identification, is not a seizure subject to Fourth
Amendment protections, so long as the questioning is carried
on without interrupting or restraining the person's
___: ___: ____. An officer's request that an individual
step out of a parked vehicle does not automatically transform
a tier-one police-citizen encounter into a tier-two
encounter. But, if the totality of the circumstances are such
that a reasonable person would believe he or she was not free
to ignore the request and stay in the vehicle, a seizure has
occurred for Fourth Amendment purposes.
Probable Cause: Words and Phrases.
Reasonable suspicion entails some minimal level of objective
justification for detention, something more than an inchoate
and unparticularized hunch, but less than the level of
suspicion required for probable cause.
Investigative Stops: Police Officers and Sheriffs:
Probable Cause. Whether a police officer has a
reasonable suspicion based on sufficient articulable facts
depends on the totality of the circumstances and must be
determined on a case-by-case basis.
Sentences: Appeal and Error. In reviewing a
sentence imposed within the statutory limits, an appellate
court considers whether the sentencing court abused its
discretion in considering and applying the relevant factors
as well as any legal principles in determining the sentence
to be imposed.
Sentences. When imposing a sentence, the
sentencing court is to consider the defendant's (1) age,
(2) mentality, (3) education and experience, [297 Neb. 267]
(4) social and cultural background, (5) past criminal record
or record of law-abiding conduct, and (6) motivation for the
offense, as well as (7) the nature of the offense and (8) the
amount of violence involved in the commission of the crime.
___. Because the appropriateness of a sentence is necessarily
a subjective judgment and includes the sentencing judge's
observation of the defendant's demeanor and attitude and
all the facts and circumstances surrounding the
defendant's life, a sentencing court is accorded very
wide discretion in imposing a sentence.
from the District Court for Lancaster County: Lori A. Maret,
Christopher Eickholt for appellant.
Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Joe Meyer for
Heavican, C.J., Wright, Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Kelch,
and Funke, JJ. Cassel, J.
direct appeal, Latriesha L. Rogers challenges the denial of
her motion to suppress evidence seized during the detention
and search of a vehicle in which she was a passenger. The
critical issue is when the encounter reached the second-tier
and what reasonable suspicion existed at that point. Rogers
also alleges that she received an excessive sentence. Finding
no merit in her arguments, we affirm.
August 5, 2015, a Lincoln police officer located a vehicle
associated with an individual wanted on a federal indictment.
The vehicle was parked on a residential street and had two
occupants. A second vehicle was parked in front of the target
vehicle with the engine running and three occupants. The
officer parked her patrol vehicle in the middle of the [297
Neb. 268] street and approached the second vehicle on foot to
ensure the wanted individual was not inside and about to
approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed the front seat
passenger reach under his seat and directed him to stop in
case he had a weapon. The officer then spoke to the driver
and explained that she was looking for a wanted individual.
Within 20 to 30 seconds, three officers from the Lincoln
Police Department and the Metro Area Fugitive Task Force
arrived to assist the lead officer in identifying the
occupants of the vehicle.
minute had passed, the officer realized that the wanted
individual was not in the vehicle. However, she continued to
attempt to identify the occupants of the vehicle, because she
recognized the driver as a contact for several narcotics
investigations and believed he was involved with the selling
of narcotics. She also suspected the front seat passenger had
hidden a weapon or contraband under the front seat while she
walked up to the vehicle. ...