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Commonwealth v. Milner

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

October 18, 2019

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY APPELLANT
v.
CRAIG LOUIS DEAN MILNER APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM FAYETTE CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE JOHN E. REYNOLDS, JUDGE ACTION NO. 18-CR-00227

          BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: Andy Beshear Attorney General of Kentucky Frankfort, Kentucky Courtney J. Hightower Assistant Attorney General Frankfort, Kentucky

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Steven Nathan Goens Assistant Public Advocate Frankfort, Kentucky

          BEFORE: GOODWINE, MAZE, AND SPALDING, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          SPALDING, JUDGE

         On December 26, 2017, Officer Christopher Carrington ("Officer Carrington") of the Lexington Police Department responded to a report of an unconscious individual ("Milner" or "appellee") in the front seat of a vehicle located in the parking lot of a business in Lexington, Kentucky. The authorities became aware of the circumstances described herein after receiving a phone call from a third-party caller ("Phillips"), who observed an unconscious Milner after pulling into the parking lot of a hardware store off Richmond Road.

         Upon arriving at Milner's location, Officer Carrington approached Milner's vehicle and called out to Milner in order to wake him. Officer Carrington noticed the presence of a "glass pipe," as well as a "small baggie of an unknown substance," in plain view inside Milner's vehicle. Officer Carrington requested Milner step out of the vehicle. Milner complied but continued to place his hands in his pockets throughout the interaction, despite Officer Carrington's requests that he refrain from doing so. Therefore, Officer Carrington asked Milner whether he could search his pockets. Milner consented.

         The subsequent search of Milner's pockets revealed the presence of "three or four white pills," later identified as Lyrica tablets. It was later determined that Milner had been prescribed the Lyrica medication. However, the search also revealed the presence of a Christmas ornament with a white residue present on the inside of the ornament.

         At this point, it became apparent to Officer Carrington that Milner was under the influence of illicit substances. Milner was placed in handcuffs and read his Miranda rights. Milner relayed to Officer Carrington that he had used methamphetamine earlier in the day. Milner was ultimately charged with public intoxication, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

         On August 22, 2018, Milner, through counsel, filed a "Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to KRS 218A.133(2)." Specifically, Milner sought to have counts one (possession of a controlled substance, first degree) and two (possession of drug paraphernalia) dismissed pursuant to statute. On August 27, 2018, the circuit court held a hearing on the motion. On September 20, 2018, the circuit court granted Milner's motion and entered its "Order Granting Motion for KRS 218A.133 Suppression" (the "Order"). This appeal followed.

         KRS 218A.133(2), commonly referred to as the "Good Samaritan Statute," provides as follows:

(2) A person shall not be charged with or prosecuted for a criminal offense prohibiting the possession of a controlled substance or the possession of drug paraphernalia if:
(a) In good faith, medical assistance with a drug overdose is sought from a public safety answering point, emergency medical services, a law enforcement officer, or a ...

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