A Scott County District judge will rule whether to allow evidence pulled from a trash can in a medical marijuana case.
Judge Paul Macek said he will make his ruling after April 30, a deadline he has given to attorneys to file written arguments in a case now 10 months old.
"These people deserve a ruling," Macek said at the end of Wednesday's evidence suppression hearing.
Benton Mackenzie, a 47-year-old Iowa cancer patient, awaits trial on charges that he grew marijuana. His wife, son, parents and a friend also are accused in charges related to the case.
He argues police illegally searched his trash cans last spring, a search that led to the current criminal case.
He filed a motion to suppress evidence and has said repeatedly that the Scott County Attorney's Office has enough proof to drop the entire case.
"Any intrusion on the Mackenzie property violates their constitutional rights with a warrantless search," his attorney, Lori Kieffer-Garrison, said Wednesday.
The Mackenzies argue their road, 183rd Avenue, is a private easement and that Scott County Sheriff's deputies trespassed when they pulled their trash.
Assistant Scott County Attorney Patrick McElyea doesn't dispute the road is marked as a private lane, but he said that with multiple homeowners using it, "there can't be an expectation of privacy." Therefore, he said, deputies did not violate the Mackenzies' Fourth Amendment rights.
Benton Mackenzie is charged with felony drug possession along with his wife, Loretta Mackenzie. His parents, Dorothy and Charles Mackenzie, are charged with hosting a drug house, and his son, Cody, is charged with misdemeanor possession. His childhood friend, Stephen Bloomer, also is charged in the drug conspiracy.
All six defendants were in court Wednesday, each represented by a different attorney.
Benton Mackenzie, who shared his story with the Quad-City Times in September, is using a medical marijuana defense. He says he was extracting cannabis oil from the plants he grew at home to treat his angiosarcoma, a terminal cancer.