The COA held that the district court's finding was supported by substantial competent evidence:
I'm not sure this is the right standard of review for a negative finding (that the state failed to meet it's burden at the suppression hearing), but still the right result.
We find nothing in these facts to support a particularized and objective basis for suspecting Adams was hiding in Young's home. Her answers to Landreville's questions did not indicate any knowledge of Adams' whereabouts, and there was nothing presented at the suppression hearing to show that Young's demeanor while speaking to Landreville or Giordano indicated she was overly nervous or scared. Moreover, the fact that Young withdrew her consent for Landreville to search her home cannot be used to formulate reasonable suspicion. Thus, at the time Young left for work the first time, Landreville's belief that Adams was hiding in Young's house was purely speculative.
Finally, nothing in Young's actions upon her return home support a particularized and objective basis for suspecting Adams was hiding in Young's home or in Young's car. When she returned home, Young told Giordano she forgot her work badge, opened her garage door, drove her car inside the garage, and then closed the garage door and shut off her car. Although Giordano testified she thought it suspicious that Young would shut the garage door behind her just to run in and retrieve her work badge, Young's behavior in shutting the garage door behind her does not create a
particularized and objective basis for suspecting Adams was hiding in Young's home or in Young's car. This is especially true given Young already had been questioned by police about Adams' whereabouts, threatened with possible criminal charges, and prevented from leaving for work. If anything, Young's actions indicated her legal desire to have no further contact with the police and to be left alone inside her home.
Once Young closed her garage door, Giordano went up to the door and put her ear against it so she could listen for sounds indicating the presence of a second person. Instead of hearing any sounds indicating the presence of a second person, all Giordano heard was loud music. Although Giordano testified she thought it suspicious that Young would play loud music prior to opening her garage door to leave for work, Young's behavior in this regard does not create a particularized and objective basis for suspecting Adams was hiding in Young's home or in Young's car.
Based on the facts in the record, Landreville's decision to stop Young's car was based on a hunch that Adams was in the trunk, which was based on a hunch that Adams got into the car when Young returned home to retrieve her name badge, which was based on a hunch that Adams was in Young's house in the first instance. As such, where is substantial competent evidence to support the district court's factual finding that Landreville's suspicions were based on speculation and assumptions instead of specific and articulable facts.
[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on May 12, 2010.]