• State Supreme Court decision keeps admitted child porn collector out of jail

    By: Essex Porter

    Updated:

    According to the Supreme Court decision, police confronted Michael Alan Budd outside his Moses Lake Home seven years ago. They asked permission to go inside and examine his computer.

    The decision says he decided that "a low-key seizure of his computer would be preferable to a full-blown search of his home." So "Budd gave his consent" to the officers.

    Budd "admitted possessing hundreds of images depicting minors involved in sexually explicit conduct,” according to the decision.

     But a 5-4 court majority threw out the case.

    The reason was that "the officer did not give Budd the Ferrier warnings BEFORE entering his home."  

    The Ferrier rules comes into play when police do not have a warrant to search your house. It says that you can refuse to let them in and if you let them in, you can limit their search, and you can ask police to leave at any time and you must be told that the court says before police enter your house.

     Criminal defense attorney Aimee Sutton told us the reason for the rule.

    “Constitutional rights should not be eroded in a situation just because we're talking about child pornography here,” she said

    Grant County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alan White is disappointed.

     “It is sometimes frustrating for law enforcement when they think they have consent,” he said. “But we accept the Washington state Supreme Court's decision today.”

    Sutton says it’s important to protect constitutional rights, even in unsavory cases, “When the Washington state Supreme Court says "no, this applies in this case" which we might find a little bit icky, but it's going to apply in every case and every case isn't going to be (like) this case.”

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