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VOL. 43 | NO. 11 | Friday, March 15, 2019

Tennessee court expands exceptions for evidence suppression

Updated 3:10PM
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UNION CITY (AP) — The Tennessee Supreme Court has expanded exceptions for when evidence obtained without a warrant is admissible.

According to the court, a Union City police officer arrested Jerome McElrath for trespassing twice in 2015. That's because the officer believed McElrath was barred from a local public housing community. He wasn't.

Both times the officer searched McElrath and found marijuana. A lower court suppressed the evidence of marijuana because of the officer's error.

In a Tuesday opinion, a divided Supreme Court said evidence is admissible when police mistakes are the result of negligence "rather than systemic error or reckless disregard of constitutional requirements."

However, the court agreed to suppress the evidence in McElrath's case, concluding his arrest resulted from a flawed police record-keeping system.

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