final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; John S. Kastrenakes, Judge; L.T. Case No.
P. Ryan, Regional Counsel, and Richard G. Bartmon, Assistant
Regional Counsel, Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil
Regional Counsel, Fourth District, West Palm Beach, for
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Jessenia J.
Concepcion, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
Cledenord appeals his convictions and sentences for lewd or
lascivious molestation, sexual battery on a person younger
than 12, and lewd or lascivious conduct. Appellant argues
that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his
cause challenges to two prospective jurors. We disagree and
affirm without comment on this issue. Appellant also argues
that the trial court abused its discretion in summarily
denying his pre-trial motion for reconsideration of the trial
court's suppression ruling. We affirm on this issue as
well but write to explain that, although the trial court
applied an incorrect legal standard in ruling on the motion
for reconsideration, we find that the error was harmless.
following facts are relevant to this opinion. Soon after
appellant's arrest, he gave a videotaped statement to
police in which he admitted touching the victim's thighs
and chest but denied touching her vagina. Appellant moved to
suppress his statement.
suppression hearing, evidence showed that officers were
dispatched to the victim's home shortly after 3:00 a.m.
on the date of the incident. The scene was chaotic and
emotional, with people talking loudly back and forth.
officers made contact with the victim's aunt, who did not
testify at the suppression hearing. The victim's aunt
told the officers that she had thrown a party at her home
earlier that evening. After she went to sleep that night, she
was awakened to the sound of the victim screaming. When she
went to the living room to investigate, she saw a man get up
from the area next to the victim, go out to the patio, and
take off running. The victim told her aunt and the police
that the man had inserted his finger into her vagina.
at the scene described the man as a twenty-something black
male who had dreadlocks and was wearing a red shirt. The
victim's aunt told the police that the man had been at
the party earlier that evening. According to the
officers' testimony, the victim's aunt and other
witnesses said that the man lived next door.
officers gave conflicting testimony about whether the
victim's aunt knew the man's name. Sergeant Scott
testified that the victim's aunt did not know the
man's name. By contrast, Officer Laurent testified that
the victim's aunt identified appellant by name as the man
she observed on the patio. Officer Laurent repeatedly
testified that the victim's aunt referred to the man as
police went next door and knocked on the door. A resident,
Mr. Valliere, answered the door and gave the police
permission to search for the suspect. Officers entered the
home and saw appellant sleeping on the couch. Appellant
matched the description of the suspect, as he was black,
appeared to be in his mid-twenties, was wearing a red shirt,
and had a dreadlock hairstyle. Officers woke appellant up and
had him identify himself. Officers handcuffed appellant and
took him outside for a show-up identification. The
victim's aunt identified appellant as the person she saw
inside her house. Appellant was then placed in a patrol car
and taken to the police station.
to this appeal, defense counsel argued that appellant's
statement was the product of an illegal arrest inside his
residence without probable cause. Additionally, relying on
the testimony of a resident of appellant's home, defense
counsel argued that the police did not have consent to enter
trial court denied the motion to suppress, finding that
appellant's arrest was lawful. Specifically, the trial
court found that: (1) there were exigent circumstances
justifying the entry into appellant's home; (2) Mr.
Valliere, who had both actual and apparent authority over the
common areas of appellant's home, freely and voluntarily
gave consent for the officers to enter the home; and (3) the
officers had probable cause to detain and arrest appellant
"based on the critical one fact, which is this, that the
person, that the ...