Practice Area: Government
Outcome: Motion to suppress granted on appeal (as prosecutor)
Description: In March 2001, a jury convicted the defendant, Thomas Bradley Leigh, of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(a) (West 1998)). The charge stemmed from a routine traffic stop, during which officer Dennis Hout asked the defendant if there was anything in his pickup truck that would cause a police dog to alert and the defendant responded that a pistol belonging to his wife, Traci Leigh, was in the truck. The defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress, because Officer Hout's question impermissibly expanded the scope of the stop. We reverse the trial court's order denying the motion to suppress and reverse the defendant's conviction.