Dallas Gun Prosecution Serves as Test Case for Challenges to Illegal Police Searches

Morris Burrell Haynes was armed for war.When Dallas police arrested him in 2015 during an undercover prostitution sting, they found a “cache of dangerous weapons” in the trunk of his Lincoln Town Car: loaded “assault-style” rifles, a shotgun, dozens of rounds of ammunition and body armor, according to federal prosecutors. The officers, who didn’t have a search warrant, gave each other a high five, court records say. But because they apparently didn’t conduct a legal search of his car, Haynes, 37, a violent felon and alleged gang member who once shot someone, could be back on the streets again soon.Haynes’ attorneys challenged the firearms evidence in court, arguing the search was illegal, and a judge granted their motion -- a rarity in federal court. U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay’s August 2017 ruling meant that two of three counts against Haynes went away. “Suppression in this case will prevent these officers from effectively being rewarded for their unconstitutional searches,” said Brandon McCarthy, one of Haynes’ attorneys, in a court filing.The defense team is now trying to get the last count in his indictment dismissed by arguing that Dallas police improperly searched for evidence again while trying to serve an arrest warrant for Haynes at a South Dallas apartment.  Continue reading...

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