Patricia STEINMETZ and Michael STEINMETZ v. STATE
Supreme Court of Arkansas
Opinion delivered April 27, 2006
CRIMINAL LAW – MOTION TO SUPPRESS – PROBABLE CAUSE AND EXIGENT
CIRCUMSTANCES JUSTIFIED WARRANTLESS ENTRY.– Where appellants’ security alarm
had been activated, and the responding police officer found the door to the house open
when he arrived, it was certainly reasonable for the officer to believe that a crime
might be in progress and for him to begin to secure the premises and enter the
residence in accordance with the policy of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office;
because the warrantless entry was permissible, any subsequent seizure of evidence in
plain view was permissible, and the circuit court did not err in denying the appellants’
motion to suppress.
Appeal from Pulaski County Circuit Court; John W. Langston, Judge; affirmed.
Patrick J. Benca and John Wesley Hall, Jr., for appellants.
Mike Beebe, Att’y Gen., by: Misty Wilson Borkowski, Ass’t Att’y Gen., for appellee.
ROBERT L. BROWN, Justice. Appellants Patricia and Michael Steinmetz appeal from
their conditional pleas of guilty to four offenses: simultaneous possession of drugs and
STEINMETZ v. STATE
Cite as 366 Ark. ___ (2006)
firearms, possession of methamphetamine with intent to manufacture or deliver, possession
of marijuana with intent to manufacture or deliver, and maintaining a drug premise. Each
person was sentenced to a total of ten years’ imprisonment. They assert two points on
appeal. We hold that no reversible error occurred, and we affirm the judgments of
The facts, according to the testimony presented at the suppression hearing, are these.
On May 11, 2004, Deputy Mark Swagerty of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office received
a call from his dispatcher at 9:15 p.m. to respond to a burglary alarm, which had been
activated at a residence located at 98 Creekwood in Jacksonville. According to the audio
tape of the dispatch call, Deputy Swagerty was advised that the residents of the home were