Topic: No REP in backpack in the possession of a person disavowing ownership.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the denial of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence recovered from a backpack, and the district court’s conclusion that the defendant abandoned the backpack and any legitimate expectation of privacy in its contents. The court rejected the defendant’s claim that the collective-knowledge doctrine has any bearing on the propriety of the district court’s conclusion that the defendant abandoned the backpack. The court also held that the district court is not precluded from finding abandonment in cases where the defendant, as here, has physical possession of the property he has disavowed. In this case, the record supported the district court’s conclusion that the defendant clearly and unequivocally disavowed ownership of the backpack.
Even if the district court erred by finding that defendant abandoned the backpack, reversal would not be required because the search of the backpack was a proper search incident to arrest for which no warrant was required under the facts of this case.
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