Marijuana conviction overturned after court rules cop made unlaw - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Marijuana conviction overturned after court rules cop made unlawful stop

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a marijuana conviction last month after it was determined the arresting officer had no right to pull over the suspect's car. 

Nathaniel Akers appealed his conviction of Marijuana Second Offense arguing the police officer did not have probable cause to pull him over and the court agreed.

Cedar Rapids Police Officer Nathan Baughan claimed that he could tell people in the car were not wearing seat belts and that a taillight was out. 

Dash cam video from Officer Baughan's car showed Akers walked towards to back of his car to meet Officer Baughan after he had been pulled over. 

While the two were talking Officer Baughan testified he could smell marijuana coming from Akers' car.

He also testified that when Akers asked him why he was pulled over he told him it was because of his taillight, brake light and seat belt.

The court was able to find one segment of Akers taillight was not lit in the video footage. 

In the appeal Akers argued the taillight is lit when the car is moving but goes out when it's reversed or in park. 

The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled the video contradicts Officer Baughan's "recollection" as he testified that he saw the taillight was out while the car was in motion. 

You can read the court documents in entirety here: https://www.iowacourts.gov/courtcases/827/embed/CourtAppealsOpinion

The Cedar Rapids Police Department tells us Officer Baughan was discharged from the Department on September 15, 2017 for "conduct detrimental to the public service."

The Department says his discharge was not related to the decision made in this case by the Appellate Court. 

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