NORTH PLATTE - Whether a Tucson, Ariz.
, man gave police consent to search his car was the subject of a motion-to-suppress hearing in Lincoln County District Court Monday.
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Timothy X. Reid, 55, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after a Nebraska state trooper found 76 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of the car he was driving.
But in court Monday, Reid argued he did not give the trooper consent to search the trunk.
If Lincoln County Judge John Murphy rules Reid did not give consent, the search would be ruled illegal and the charges against him would likely be dropped.
Reid was stopped near the North Platte interchange of Interstate 80 April 11.
NSP trooper Ryan Hayes testified that he stopped the car, which was registered in Nebraska, because it did not have a front license plate.
Hayes testified that Reid was nervous with visibly shaking hands and was “over talkative.
After citing Reid, Hayes asked for permission to search the car.
Hayes said Reid had a difficult time giving consent and changed his mind several times but finally relented.
Reid testified that he told the trooper he could “look inside” the car but would not have given permission to search the trunk because the car belonged to John Wiggleworth, not him.
A video and audiotape, which recorded the stop, was introduced as evidence, but even that didn't clear things up.
Bob Lindemeier, Hayes' attorney, said the tape his client clearly did not give consent to search and even began a cutting motion with his hand across his throat, telling the trooper to stop, after the trooper took the keys from the ignition and began to open the trunk, saying “no, no, no.
“He made it clear he did not want the trooper to search the trunk,” Lindemeier said.
County Attorney Jeff Meyer said the tape shows Reid clearly gave consent and didn't start retracting it until the trooper had already opened the trunk.
The marijuana was in duffle bags located in the trunk.
Murphy took the case under advisement and will issue an opinion later.
Reid is being held in the county jail on a $50,000 bond. He is also wanted on a parole violation from Arizona, where he served 21 years in prison for murder.
Originally published on www.northplattebulletin.com's Local News page on 6/14/2004