The Pennsylvania Superior Court overturned the drug conviction of an Edwardsville woman that was based on an illegal search of her purse by Kingston police.
Lori Lynn Guido, 46, last known address as Cherry Street, was arrested when police allegedly found marijuana and a pipe in her purse while investigating a domestic disturbance at a residence on Hoyt Street on Nov. 29, 2011.
Police alleged Guido and her husband, Lawrence Guido, had separated when she changed two door locks at the Hoyt Street house. Lori Lynn Guido had left the Hoyt Street house sometime in 2010.
Guido refused to tell her ex-husband where she hid the locks and refused to supply a key for new locks that she installed, the criminal complaint says.
Lawrence Guido told police he was the sole owner of the house and his ex-wife was not permitted inside.
A police officer removed a purse from Guido’s arm when she was handcuffed. After Guido was placed in a cruiser, an officer opened her purse allegedly finding a small amount of marijuana and a pipe, according to the criminal complaint.
Police charged Guido with theft, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Luzerne County Judge Fred Pierantoni found Guido guilty of the two drug offenses after a non-jury trial on April 25, 2013. She was sentenced to 12 months probation.
The theft charge was dismissed prior to the non-jury trial because Guido remained co-owner of the house despite being separated from her husband.
Guido’s public defenders, John Sobota and Caelie McCormick Sweigart, appealed the conviction to Superior Court.
In a decision issued on Wednesday, the appellate court found police lacked probable cause to arrest Guido for changing and stealing the door locks that resulted in the illegal search of her purse.