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Commonwealth v. Mullen

Pennsylvania Superior Court

December 8, 2021

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief in a case that involved a warrantless search of a third-party residence during the execution of an arrest warrant. The defendant absconded from parole. His parole agent receivedĀ a tip regarding the defendant’s whereabouts, so the agent obtained an arrest warrant and went to the residence the tipster provided. But that residence was not the defendant’s home. While effectuating the arrest, the agent found guns and drugs, leading to new charges and the convictions at issue in this appeal. The defendant claimed that his prior lawyers were ineffective because they never argued that the agent needed a search warrant to enter the third-party’s residence, pursuant to Commonwealth v. Romero. The Superior Court found Commonwealth v. Stanley controlled, though. The Court held here that law enforcement did not violate the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights by searching the third party’s residence.

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