Mar’Yo Lindsey was seriously injured during a football game in 2013 and was taken to the hospital. Lindsey asked about his gym bag several times, which raised concern and prompted the Dunkerton superintendent to confiscate and search the bag. The search turned up a loaded gun and drug paraphernalia.
Lindsey was charged and later convicted of possession of a firearm as a felon, carrying weapons on school grounds, going armed with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a controlled substance. The district court denied Lindsey’s request to throw out the evidence on the grounds the search of the gym bag was an unconstitutional invasion of his privacy.
The Iowa Court of Appeals today upheld Lindsey’s conviction — saying as a student athlete using a school-issued equipment bag — Lindsey had a lowered expectation of privacy. The court says the superintendent knew of previous drug and weapons charges against Lindsey, and Lindsey’s preoccupation with his bag while in the hospital would have led a reasonable person to suspect the bag contained something illicit.
Lindsey is serving consecutive sentences on the charges, which means he could spend 5 years in jail.
Full ruling: Lindsey gym bag ruling PDF