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156408 - People v Kevin Patrick Kavanagh

The People of the State of Michigan,


Aaron Mead





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Berrien – LaSata, C.)


Kevin Patrick Kavanagh,


Daniel Grow





During a traffic stop, marijuana was found in defendant’s car, and he was charged with possession of 5 to 45 kilograms of marijuana. He moved to suppress the evidence on the basis of an illegal search. The trial court denied the motion, and the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court denied interlocutory appellate review. Following a bench trial, defendant was convicted as charged. On appeal, he again argued that the search of his car was illegal. After reviewing the dashboard camera recording of the traffic stop, the Court of Appeals overturned defendant’s conviction in an unpublished opinion, holding that the police did not have a legitimate basis to detain defendant for a search of his car. The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on the prosecution’s application for leave to appeal to address: (1) whether a trial court’s factual findings regarding a video recording of events under consideration is entitled to deference by an appellate court; (2) the nature of evidence that may be considered in determining whether the trial court’s factual findings were clear error; and (3) the appropriate standard of review under such circumstances. ​