STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. Scotland County
No. 02 CRS 51328
DAVID MALCOLM JONES
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Assistant Attorney General
Richard A. Graham, for the State.
Irving Joyner, for defendant-appellant.
The grand jury indicted defendant David Malcolm Jones on
charges of possession with intent to sell or deliver a controlled
substance on 18 March 2002, possession with intent to sell or
deliver a controlled substance on 30 March 2002, carrying a
concealed gun, carrying a concealed weapon (a knife), obstructing
justice and making a false report to a law enforcement agency. A
jury found defendant guilty of one lesser included offense of
possession of cocaine on 30 March 2002, and found him not guilty of
the other charges. The trial court sentenced defendant to six to
eight months imprisonment, suspended the sentence and placed
defendant on thirty-six months probation. Defendant appeals. Asexplained below, we conclude there was no error.
The State's evidence tended to show that in January of 2002, defendant provided Officer Terry Chavis of the Laurinburg Police Department with information about an alleged drug dealer, Tyree Holloway (Holloway), who was dating his ex-girlfriend.
On 18 March 2002, defendant contacted Officer Chavis and told him that his friend, Robert, had observed Holloway place drugs underneath Holloway's vehicle, which was parked at Holloway's workplace. That night, Officer Chavis followed Holloway as he left his workplace. Officer Chavis made a traffic stop of Holloway's vehicle, and after receiving consent to search the vehicle, Officer Chavis found crack cocaine taped onto the coil springs of the right front quarter panel of Holloway's vehicle. Holloway told Officer Chavis that the drugs were not his. When Officer Chavis asked Holloway if he had had any problems with anybody, Holloway replied, This is David Jones. This is what he would do. Holloway gave a statement to police and was subsequently released.
On the afternoon of 30 March 2002, defendant again informed Officer Chavis that his friend Robert had observed Holloway place something underneath the driver's side of his vehicle. Officer Chavis, who was off duty at the time, passed on the tip to Officer Chris Strickland and instructed Officer Strickland to seize any illegal drugs from Holloway. Officer Strickland initiated a traffic stop and, after obtaining consent to search from Holloway, found five grams of crack cocaine taped to the coil spring under the driver's side rear of the vehicle. On 8 April 2002, defendant again informed Officer Chavis about drugs taped underneath Holloway's vehicle. Officer Chavis told Sergeant Dean Murphy about the tip. Sergeant Murphy went to Holloway's workplace and received permission to search Holloway's vehicle. After Sergeant Murphy failed to find drugs on Holloway's vehicle, Sergeant Murphy parked his undercover vehicle in the parking lot to conduct surveillance on Holloway's car. Approximately fifteen minutes later, Sergeant Murphy observed a bluish-gray vehicle arrive. A man, later identified as Dale Locklear (Locklear), got out of the car and knelt down beside Mr. Holloway's vehicle. Sergeant Murphy stopped the car and identified defendant as the driver. Police found a .25 caliber handgun in the vehicle and a knife in defendant's pants pocket. No drugs were found. Sergeant Murphy found a piece of tape fastened underneath Holloway's vehicle where he had previously searched and found nothing.
At trial, Locklear testified that defendant contacted him on 18 March 2002 and asked him to tape drugs underneath Holloway's vehicle in exchange for $40. Locklear further testified that approximately two weeks later, defendant asked him to perform the same task. Defendant picked up Locklear, drive him to Holloway's workplace, and provided him with the duct tape and drugs. Locklear exited defendant's vehicle and taped the drugs under the left-hand side of Holloway's vehicle. Defendant contacted Locklear a third time on 8 April 2002. On that date, Locklear only placed tape underneath Holloway's vehicle and returned the drugs to defendant. In his sole argument on appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss the charge on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. Specifically, defendant contends that the State failed to present substantial evidence that he intended to sell or deliver the cocaine on 30 March 2002.
In ruling on a criminal defendant's motion to dismiss, the trial court must determine whether the State has presented substantial evidence (1) of each essential element of the offense with which defendant is charged and (2) of the defendant being the perpetrator. State v. Robinson, 355 N.C. 320, 336, 561 S.E.2d 245, 255, cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1006, 154 L. Ed. 2d 404 (2002) (internal citation omitted). Substantial evidence is such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. State v. Franklin, 327 N.C. 162, 171, 393 S.E.2d 781, 787 (1990) (internal citation omitted). [A]ll of the evidence should be considered in the light most favorable to the State, and the State is entitled to all reasonable inferences which may be drawn from the evidence. State v. Davis, 130 N.C. App. 675, 679, 505 S.E.2d 138, 141 (1998) (internal citation omitted). Specifically, if a reasonable juror could draw an inference of defendant's guilt from the evidence before him, the evidence is sufficient to allow the jury to consider the issue even if the same evidence may also support an equally reasonable inference of the defendant's innocence. State v. Matias, 354 N.C. 549, 551, 556 S.E.2d 269, 270 (2001). Defendant was convicted of one count of possession of cocaine on 30 March 2002. He argues that the evidence was too uncertain for him to have been convicted of possession on that date.
Locklear testified that approximately two weeks after the first instance, which occurred on 18 March 2002, defendant drove Locklear to the parking lot of Holloway's workplace. Defendant gave Locklear duct tape and drugs. Locklear took the drugs and taped them underneath the left-side of Holloway's vehicle. Defendant informed Officer Chavis on 30 March 2002, that Holloway had been observed that day placing something underneath the driver's side of his vehicle located in the parking lot of Holloway's workplace. When Holloway left his work the night of 30 March 2002, Officer Strickland initiated a traffic stop and, upon a search of the vehicle, found five grams of crack cocaine taped to the coil spring under the driver's side rear of the vehicle. Accordingly, in the light most favorable to the State, a reasonable mind could conclude from this evidence that defendant possessed the drugs on that date. We therefore overrule defendant's assignment of error and find no error in the judgment of the trial court.
Judges MCGEE and LEVINSON concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
*** Converted from WordPerfect ***