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05/05/95 RICKY HILL v. STATE

May 5, 1995

RICKY HILL
v.
STATE



Appeal from Blount Circuit Court. (CC-93-023). Robert Austin, TRIAL JUDGE.

As Amended December 21, 1995.

Patterson, Judge. Taylor, P.j., McMILLAN, Cobb, JJ., Concur; Long, J., Recuses Himself.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Patterson

PATTERSON, JUDGE

Ricky Hill appeals his conviction for public intoxication and his subsequent sentence to 30 days in the county jail, a $200 fine, and court costs. The state's evidence tends to show the following: On January 30, 1993, Blount County sheriff deputies, Mickey Ratliff and Andy Dutton, responded to a report of a domestic dispute. They arrived at the location and parked the patrol car on the side of the road. Hill was standing on the opposite side of the road with a woman who was holding a baby. According to Ratliff, he was making "grabbing hand motions" towards the woman holding the baby. According to Ratliff they appeared to be fighting. She turned on the patrol car's emergency lights and got out of the car. Hill and the woman holding the baby began to move away. When Ratliff ordered them to stop, they fled toward a nearby house. Ratliff chased them to the front porch of the house, where they stopped. She questioned them about the reported disturbance, and asked whether they were involved in a fight. During the course of this questioning, Ratliff determined that Hill was intoxicated, and she arrested Hill for public intoxication.

Ratliff placed Hill in the patrol car, and joined Dutton in investigating the domestic dispute. After the domestic matter was resolved, Ratliff and Dutton returned to the patrol car and took Hill to the Blount County sheriff's department. While en route to the sheriff's department, Hill initiated a conversation with Ratliff and Dutton. He told them that he had drunk only 12 beers, that he was not intoxicated, and that he would "have [the deputies'] jobs."

Hill raises the following issues on appeal: whether the trial court erred in denying Hill's motion to dismiss the complaint; whether the arrest was legal; whether the trial court erred in admitting Hill's extrajudicial statements; and whether the evidence was sufficient to support a guilty verdict.

I.

Hill was convicted of public intoxication in a district court trial that proceeded under Ratliff's affidavit and complaint, which reads as follows:

"Before me, the Clerk/Magistrate of the District Court of Blount County, Personally appeared this day Mickey Ratliff and made oath that he/she has probable cause for believing and does believe that in said State and County, and before the filing of this complaint, Rickey Hill, whose name is not known to the affiant other than as stated, did appear in a public place under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other drug to the degree that he endangered himself or others or property; or by boisterous and offensive conduct annoyed others in violation of Title 13A-11-10 of the Code of Alabama. Which said offense was committed against the peace and dignity of the State of Alabama."

Hill filed a notice of appeal from the district court's judgment on April 1, 1993. Hill concedes that this affidavit complaint was timely filed with the circuit court. See Rule 30.4(a), Ala.R.Crim.P. (requiring these documents to be filed with the circuit court within 14 days after notice of appeal from district court).

On April 23, 1993, Hill filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, alleging that it does not sufficiently state the facts supporting the charge. In his brief, Hill argues that when he filed this motion, "it being more than fourteen days after the Notice of Appeal, the Affidavit and Complaint of Deputy Ratliff was the charging instrument."

On April 29, 1993, the district attorney filed a solicitor's complaint, which states:

"Comes now the State of Alabama by and through its District Attorney, and states as follows: that within the past twelve months, Ricky Hill, whose true name is otherwise unknown to the affiant, did appear in a public place, to-wit: a public road at or near Highway # 231 South, Blount County, Alabama, on January 30, 1993, under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or other drug to the degree that he endangered himself or Deputy Mickey Ratliff, violation of § 13A-11-10 of the Code of Alabama, contrary to law and against the peace and dignity of the State of Alabama."

We regard the solicitor's complaint to be an amendment of the ...


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