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Olson v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

September 23, 2016

GLENN OLSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee.

         Appeal from the Superior Court No. 3DI-14-097 CI, Third Judicial District, Dillingham, Patricia L. Douglass, Judge.

          Glenn Olson, in propria persona, Wasilla, for the Appellant.

          Michael Sean McLaughlin, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Criminal Appeals, Anchorage, and Craig W. Richards, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

          Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Suddock, Superior Court Judge.[*]

          OPINION

          MANNHEIMER Judge.

         This appeal requires us to decide whether a criminal judgement is "void" (as that term is used in habeas corpus jurisprudence) if, at the defendant's trial, the government relied on evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. For the reasons explained here, we conclude that such judgements are not void.

         Underlying facts of the case, and Olson's direct appeal

         In 2010, Glenn Olson was convicted of second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree assault (upon different victims). Olson appealed these convictions to this Court, and we affirmed his convictions in Olsen v. State, unpublished, 2013 WL 596524 (Alaska App. 2013).

         (Our prior decision uses the spelling "Olsen" because Olson himself used that spelling of his name when he litigated the earlier appeal. Olson represented himself in that appeal and, in all of his pleadings, he styled himself "Glenn:Olsen". See Court of Appeals File No. A-10782. Olson again represents himself in the current appeal, but he now spells his name "Glenn Olson".)

         As we described in our 2013 decision in Olsen, Olson was present at a Dillingham residence along with two other men and a woman. Olson told the two men to leave the house, and then he grabbed the woman by the hair and pulled her toward the bedroom. When the two men tried to intercede on the woman's behalf, Olson fought them off. The two men then went to a neighbor's house and summoned the police.

         When the police officers arrived, they found the two men outside, and they heard yelling from inside the residence. The men told the officers that Olson had threatened them with a knife. Based on this information, the officers entered the house. In a bedroom, the officers found the woman face-down on a mattress, with her pants and underwear pulled down, and with Olson on top of her. The woman was so drunk that, even when the officers intervened to stop the assault, she could not coherently converse with the officers.

         Based on these events, the State charged Olson with sexual assault in the second degree (for sexually assaulting the woman while she was incapacitated), and with assault in the fourth degree (for assaulting one of the men).

         Prior to trial, Olson filed a motion to suppress all of the evidence that the police observed or discovered inside the house. Olson claimed that the police illegally entered the residence because (1) they entered without permission and (2) there were no exigent circumstances to justify the entry. Following an evidentiary hearing, the superior court concluded that the officers' entry was justified by exigent circumstances, in that the officers had reasonable grounds to believe that an assault was occurring inside the house.

         (See State v. Gibson, 267 P.3d 645, 659 (Alaska 2012), where our supreme court explained the "emergency aid" doctrine - the doctrine that authorizes police officers to enter a residence without a warrant when they "have reasonable grounds to believe there is an emergency at hand and an ...


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