Exigent circumstances would have been a good argument for the officers when they first arrived at Sutterfield’s home. But in the hours that had elapsed until they finally forcibly gained entry, the police had ample time to obtain a warrant.
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A U.S. circuit court of appeals gave its blessing last week to the search of a gun enthusiast’s home, as well as the seizure of her weapons, while lacking both search warrant and evidence that she had committed a crime.
The case originated three years ago when Krysta Sutterfield allegedly made “a suicidal remark” to her psychiatrist, Dr. Michelle Bentle, “during a difficult session,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
After Bentle phoned her fears to the Milwaukee police, officers were dispatched to Sutterfield’s home, but she wasn’t there. According to the Sentinel:
But officers returned to Sutterfield’s residence that evening, some nine hours after her comment to her doctor. They found her at home. She told them she was fine, did not want their help and asked them to leave, and called 911 when they would not.