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Tag Archives: Cocaine Possession

Criminal Practice — Jury Instructions – Cocaine Possession – Intent – Manufacture, Sell or Deliver – ‘Fair’ Doubt – Attorneys – Ineffective Assistance Claim (access required)

State v. Turner (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-07-1082, 16 pp.) (Wanda Bryant, J.) Appealed from Catawba County Superior Court (Nathaniel Poovey, J.) N.C. App. Holding: Defendant was indicted for possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine, but the trial court ...

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Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Confrontation Clause – Evidence – Expert Witness – Lab Tests – Independent Analysis – Peer Review (access required)

State v. Ortiz-Zape At a cocaine possession trial, there was no violation of defendant’s rights under the Confrontation Clause despite the fact that the state’s expert witness was not the same person who tested the substance found in defendant’s possession. The expert witness independently analyzed the test results, and defendant’s opportunity to cross-examine her satisfied the Confrontation Clause

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Criminal Practice – Search & Seizure — Cocaine Possession – Abandoned Property (access required)

State v. Joe It is the law of this case that the arresting officer lacked probable cause to arrest defendant. Officers discovered a bag of cocaine near where defendant was found, and they seized it only after defendant was unlawfully arrested and handcuffed. Because defendant’s abandonment of the contraband was the product of his illegal arrest, it cannot be said to have been voluntarily abandoned. Accordingly, the cocaine was obtained as the result of unlawful police conduct, and the trial court properly suppressed it.

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Criminal Practice – Mistrial Motion – Witnesses in Jury Assembly Room — Cocaine Possession – Indictment – Assistance of Counsel (access required)

State v. Glenn Three police officers, who were witnesses in defendant’s trial, walked through the jury assembly room (which they mistakenly believed was still the grand jury room) on their way to court on the second day of defendant’s trial. Although two of the jurors on defendant’s case were in the assembly room, the officers had no contact – not even eye contact – with them and quickly exited the room. The record shows no actual injury by the officers’ contact with the jurors, so the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant’s motion for a mistrial.

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Criminal Practice – Cocaine Possession – Constitutional – Confrontation Right – Expert’s Report (access required)

State v. Jones Our Court of Appeals held, Where the state’s expert who identified the substance seized from defendant as cocaine did not testify, defendant was denied his constitutional right to confront the witnesses against him. However, it appears that appellate counsel was unaware of the existence of (1) the crime lab report showing a substance to be cocaine and (2) the G.S. § 90-95 notice provided to defendant’s trial counsel by the D.A.’s office indicating an intent to introduce the report into evidence.

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Criminal Practice – Cocaine Possession – Evidence – Substance’s Identity – Defense Witness (access required)

State v. Nabors Even if the trial court should not have admitted lay testimony that the substance purchased by an informant was cocaine, when the trial court ruled on defendant’s motion to dismiss, it could consider the testimony of defendant’s own witness that the substance was cocaine.

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Criminal Practice – Cocaine Possession – Evidence – Eaten – Testing Impossible – Constitutional – Effective Assistance (access required)

State v. James Defendant ate the crack cocaine that had been seized at the time of his arrest, then he asked the magistrate how he could be charged with possession of the cocaine after he had eaten it. Under these circumstances, the trial court correctly allowed police officers to testify that the substance appeared to be crack cocaine and tested positive for cocaine in a field test. We find no error in defendant’s conviction of cocaine possession.

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Criminal Practice – Cocaine Possession – Constitutional – Confrontation Right – Expert’s Report – No Testimony (access required)

State v. Jones. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-1235, 7 pp.) (John C. Martin, Ch.J.) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court. (Eric L. Levinson, J.) N.C. App. Click here for the full text of the opinion. Holding: Where the state’s expert who ...

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Criminal Practice – Cocaine Possession – Constitutional – Confrontation Right – State’s Chemist (access required)

State v. Williams. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-07-1178, 11 pp.) (John C. Martin, Ch.J.) Appealed from Mecklenburg County Superior Court. (Calvin E. Murphy, J.) N.C. App. Click here for the full text of the opinion. Holding: Even though the state’s expert ...

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