Appeals court rules drug search illegal

June 25, 2009 (MADISON, Wis.) Crawford County sheriff's deputies responded to reports of a fight between Chris Hardy and his girlfriend in 2007.

Sheriff's Capt. Dale McCullick went to Hardy's door. Hardy answered and called Ariel Fitzgibbons to the door.

McCullick demanded to go inside without a search warrant. He said he wanted to make sure no one else was in danger.

Hardy refused. After McCullick tried to break a window, Hardy let him in. McCullick found drug paraphernalia and Fitzgibbons was charged the next day with possession.

The 1st District Court of Appeals says the search was improper. The court says McCullick had no reason to think anyone else was inside.

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