Exigent circumstances and probable cause allow search of car after arrest in this case



In 2008, Shakeylia Anderson was picked up at her grandmother’s home by a man driving a white Ford Taurus. Her cousin saw the man and the car and her uncle had seen the name Bo on Anderson’s cell phone earlier that evening. Her body was found the next evening in a secluded wooded area. She was burned, bloodied, and had tire marks on her. She appeared to have been run over by a car.

Lieutenant Ken McClenic, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, identified Leslie Galloway as a possible suspect. McClenic obtained a residential address for Galloway and a white Ford Taurus was at the house. Surveillance was conducted and when the car left, officers stopped and arrested Galloway.

Investigator Michelle Carbine, Harrison County Sheriff’s Deputy, responded to the scene and noticed a small piece of possible evidence flapping underneath the passenger side of the car. Since the vehicle was going to be towed and Carbine feared the substance might be lost, she collected the item.

The car was towed and two search warrants were obtained which revealed that the tires were the same as the marks at the crime scene. Also, blood from the car was identified as belonging to Anderson. It was also determined that Anderson had been brutally raped.

Galloway was convicted for capital murder based upon sexual assault and sentenced to death. On appeal, Galloway argued the items collected from his mother’s Ford Taurus should have been suppressed. MSC affirms.


Carbine testified that, immediately upon inspecting Anderson’s body and the crime scene, they began looking for a vehicle as a murder weapon. Carbine determined that the victim was last seen leaving her grandmother’s house in a white Ford Taurus with a light skinned black male called “Bo” from the Moss Point area.

Their investigation led them to Galloway and they noted that his mother owned a white Ford Taurus. McClenic also learned that Galloway had an outstanding arrest warrant for a misdemeanor and a suspended driver’s license. Authorities stopped the vehicle and arrested Galloway on the outstanding warrant.

When Carbine arrived at the scene, Galloway was standing by the driver’s side door in handcuffs, and officers were conducting an inventory search of the vehicle in preparation for having it towed. Carbine walked around the vehicle and performed a visual inspection.

She noticed underneath the vehicle something hanging, kind of flapping in the wind. Because the vehicle was going to be towed, Carbine removed and secured the substance, which later was determined to be Anderson’s skin.

This record before us abounds with evidence justifying a finding of probable cause and exigent circumstances. In Deeds, we said that warrantless searches are permissible in exigent circumstances if shown that grounds existed to conduct the search that, had time permitted, reasonably would have satisfied a disinterested magistrate that a warrant properly should issue.

Based on the underlying facts and circumstances attending the case, the vehicle itself was believed to be evidence in a crime. And sufficient probable cause existed at that point to obtain a search warrant. Whether authorities were in the process of obtaining one, the record does not disclose. No matter, because the record illustrates that Jackson County authorities, armed with a valid arrest warrant, lawfully stopped the white Ford Taurus shortly after it left its location.