People vs. Tommy Bruno

Facts of the Case

Los Angeles Police received a tip that a kidnapping was being planned of wealthy Hugo Boston's young son Kirby. This information came from Linda Tipper, a friend of Mary Turner. According to Tipper, Turner and her boyfriend Tommy Bruno were planning to kidnap Kirby for ransom. She was not sure when the kidnapping was to take place. Turner was a live-in-baby sitter for the Boston family and was in charge of looking after Kirby. The police planned to follow Bruno and Turner to check out the story and to obtain further evidence if such a crime was being planned. An undercover unit was assigned to follow the pair. Bruno was previously arrested on fraud charges regarding a telemarketing scheme, but the District Attorney was unable to make a case against him because of lack of evidence and failure to get some of the victims to testify.


The police unit (Officers Alvarez and Thomas) followed Bruno from the time he left his job at a drug store near where the Bostons lived. He then drove to the Boston residence and waited outside the gate until a young woman approached his car. She matched the description of Mary Turner given to the police by Ms. Tipper. Police followed them to a large city park where Bruno parked his convertible beside a deserted road. Officer Thomas parked a distance away. Using a Directional Microphone pointed at the pair Thomas was able to listen to their conversation and recorded it. A transcript is available of the discussion between Bruno and Turner. The couple began to kiss and Bruno raised the top of his convertible. Using a telephoto lens Officer Alvarez photographed the couple engaging in sexually intimate activity.


Municipal Code Section 19-470 makes it a misdemeanor To "expose one's self in public or commit lewd conduct in public." Accordingly the officers approached the car and placed the couple under arrest for the "lewd conduct statute" (Both Officers will testify that any jogger or bycyclist or horse-back rider would have seen the couple in the car.) The car was also searched. In the back seat was a zippered bag which contained a bottle of chloroform, a roll of duct tape, a woman's blonde wig, a pair of sun glasses, a map of the Boston home with letters and numbers handwritten on the floor plan and an arrow pointing to "Kirby's room". Turner's room and Mr. Boston's room were also labeled. There was also a piece of paper which contained the name of Kirby's private school and the time the school let out. Finally a rental receipt with Bruno's name on it indicated that he had recently rented a vacation cabin in the city of Crestline, a small mountain town in the Angeles Crest Forest for the rest of the month.

Bruno was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, The couple was searched at the time of arrest. Nothing illegal or even incriminating was found on them. As a separate patrol unitarrived to transport Mary to the station for booking, she yelled at Bruno, " I told you it would never work out!" Both suspects were properly advised of their Miranda rights.

At the police station the car's trunk was opened and searched. The police found a new rope clothes-line and a chain ladder used to exit an upper story window.

Another detective was sent to Mr. Boston's house to inform him of the trip and of the arrest of Bruno and Turner. He asked Boston if he could see the room Turner used when she was baby-sitting Kirby. Boston agreed. In Turner's room the detective found several magazines with headlines cut out and two video tapes of the movies "Ransom" and "Kidnapped -- The True Story of the Lindberg Crime of the Century." On a desk was a Poloroid photo of Mary Turner with a blonde wig on and wearing the dark glasses. Ms. Turner has dark brown hair. Finally a note book was discovered with written entries such as "Is a million too much to ask for?", "How long would it take to get a million ?" "How much space would it take in hundred dollar bills or thousand dollar bills?" and "What countries do not have extradition treaties with the U.S.?" (A handrwriting expert will testify that the entries were made by Mary.)

Another detective was sent to the Crestline address. The owner of the cabin was contacted and stated that he remembered the pair because one of them said they had a son who would enjoy the nearby woods and lake. The owner thought this was odd because it was in the middle of a school month. He did not believe they had a child with them when they rented the cabin. The cabin is in a remote location. The nearest cabin is more than a mile away.


After the detectives returned from the Boston home with the eveidence and from Crestline both Bruno and Turner were charged with consipracy to kidnap Kirby Boston.


Instructions - as defense consel you are to prepare a Motion to Suppress all of the evidence obtained by the Police. You may assume that you have a waiver of conlfict of interest to represent both Bruno and Turner.. Use the cases we have studied and any other cases you think will be helfpul for your defense.  

You may find the file for the caption of your pleading at CAPTION.

above fact pattern is not a real case. it is a hypothetical set of facts.
facts originated by Prof. Michael Duckworth, Esq.
Monroe Law & Government Magnet