FAIRFIELD — A felon serving a seven-year prison stint for having a loaded gun in his car lost his appeal Wednesday seeking to have his conviction overturned.
Antoine W. Harris of Fairfield claimed in his appeal that his constitutional rights were trampled by Fairfield police officer Jausiah Jacobsen, who used a flashlight to look into Harris’ car parked in front of his grandmother’s house one night in August 2011.
Harris also claimed the gun Jacobsen saw in plain sight partly tucked between the driver’s seat and center console should not have been used as evidence at his 2012 jury trial because Jacobsen had no reason to believe any laws were being broken when he seized the gun.
Jacobsen testified at a pretrial hearing that he saw Harris get out of his car and walk into the nearby house before he took a look inside and spotted the gun.
The Court of Appeal in San Francisco ruling upheld decisions made by Judge Donna Stashyn saying in part that “Officer Jacobsen was standing at a lawful vantage point, in a public street, when he observed the gun, and he could see ‘everything except for the end of the barrel,’ including the inserted magazine suggesting the gun was loaded. . . . Observation of that which is in view is lawful, whether the illumination is daylight, moonlight, lights within the vehicle, lights from street lamps, neon signs or lamps, or the flash of lights from adjacent vehicles; that the light comes from a flashlight in an officer’s hand makes no difference.”
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