NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS
Filed: 2 May 2006
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
v. Forsyth County
Nos. 04 CRS 56733, 15587
GEORGE RICHARD TAYLOR
Appeal by defendant from a judgment dated 21 February 2005 by
Judge Ronald E. Spivey in Forsyth County Superior Court. Heard in
the Court of Appeals 27 March 2006.
Attorney General Roy Cooper, by Special Deputy Attorney
General W. Richard Moore, for the State.
Daniel F. Read for defendant-appellant.
George Richard Taylor (defendant) appeals from a judgment
dated 21 February 2005 entered consistent with a jury verdict
finding him guilty of possession with intent to sell and deliver
cocaine and a plea of guilty to attaining the status of an habitual
felon. For the reasons stated herein, we find no error.
On 1 June 2004, Officer Kim Jones of the Winston-Salem Police
Department went to Room 619 of the Comfort Inn as part of a drug
investigation. Officer Jones received consent from the room's
occupant, Bobby Laird, to search the room, and found a small baggie
containing a white substance. The substance later tested positivefor cocaine. Officer Jones told Laird that she wanted to know who
the source was for the cocaine, and asked him to call his source to
have more crack cocaine delivered. Laird agreed, and called his
source and asked him to bring $200.00 worth of crack cocaine.
At approximately 11:20 a.m., there was a knock at the door.
Laird looked out the peephole, and identified the person at the
door as his supplier. The door was opened, and defendant was at
the door. Officers grabbed defendant in a bear hug and placed
him under arrest. Officers noticed defendant's hand was clinched
and ordered him to open his fist. When defendant opened his hand,
officers seized several off-white rocks that were consistent with
crack cocaine. At trial, Special Agent Robert Evans of the State
Bureau of Investigation testified the substance seized from the
defendant was 2.3 grams of cocaine.
On 16 August 2004, defendant was indicted for possession with
intent to sell and deliver cocaine and for attaining the status of
an habitual felon. The case was tried before a jury at the 21
February 2005 Criminal Session of Forsyth County Superior Court,
the Honorable Ronald E. Spivey presiding. Defendant was convicted
of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, pleaded
guilty to attaining the status of an habitual felon, and was
sentenced to a term of 107 to 138 months imprisonment. Defendant
Defendant presents three issues on appeal: (I) whether thetrial court erred by allowing Agent Evans to testify that the
substance seized by police was cocaine; (II) whether the trial
court erred in allowing Officer Jones' testimony concerning her
personal knowledge of defendant; and (III) whether there was
sufficient evidence to sustain defendant's conviction.
We first consider whether the trial court erred by allowing
Agent Evans to testify that the substance seized by police was
cocaine. Agent Evans admitted he had never seen the substance
prior to trial, and that the substance was actually tested by a co-
worker, Special Agent Sheila Bayler. Defendant contends that
expert testimony based on analyses conducted by someone other than
the testifying expert violated his right to confrontation under the
rationale of Crawford v. Washington
, 541 U.S. 36, 158 L. Ed. 2d 177
(2004). We are not persuaded.
We find State v. Bunn
, __ N.C. App. __, 619 S.E.2d 918 (2005)
controlling. In Bunn
, this Court found that:
after a recitation of his credentials, Special
Agent Robert Evans was tendered and accepted,
without objection by Defendant, as an expert
in forensic drug examination. Special Agent
Evans, after a thorough review of the
methodology undertaken by his colleague,
relied on his colleague's analyses in forming
his opinion that the substance sold to the
undercover officers was cocaine, and his
opinion was based on data reasonably relied
upon by others in the field.
at __, 619 S.E.2d at 920. The Court held that it was clear
that Special Agent Evans's testimony was expert testimony as to the
nature of the seized substance as cocaine and that the labanalysis was not tendered to prove the truth of the matter asserted
therein, but to demonstrate the basis of Agent Evans's opinion.
. The Court noted that it is well established that an expert
may base an opinion on tests performed by others in the field and
[d]efendant was given an opportunity to cross-examine Special Agent
Evans on the basis of his opinion[.] Id.
at __, 619 S.E.2d at
920-21. Thus, the Court concluded that Crawford
did not apply and
there was no violation of the defendant's right of confrontation.
is indistinguishable from the case at bar. See also
State v. Lyles
, __ N.C. App. __, __, 615 S.E.2d 890, 892-94 (2005)
(no error in the admission of laboratory reports prepared by a non-
testifying analyst as the basis for an expert witness' opinion).
Accordingly, this assignment of error is overruled.
Defendant next argues that the trial court erred by allowing
Officer Jones to testify that she recognized the name of Laird's
supplier from her work in law enforcement, and that based on her
knowledge of him, she called for the assistance of another
detective. Defendant claims that this testimony was a prejudicial
implication that he had been in trouble with the law before.
However, defendant makes a different argument in his assignment of
error, arguing that the trial court erred in admitting Officer
Jones' testimony because it was hearsay. Accordingly, we decline
to review defendant's argument because his assignment of error sets
forth a different ground for review than that argued on appeal.
N.C. R. App. P. 10(a), 10(c)(1), 28(b)(6).
Defendant finally argues there was insufficient evidence to
sustain the conviction. After careful review of the record, briefs
and contentions of the parties, we find no error.
To survive a motion to dismiss, the State must present
substantial evidence of each essential element of the charged
offense. State v. Cross
, 345 N.C. 713, 716-17, 483 S.E.2d 432, 434
'Substantial evidence is relevant evidence that a
reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.'
at 717, 483 S.E.2d at 434 (quoting State v. Olson
, 330 N.C.
557, 564, 411 S.E.2d 592, 595 (1992)). Here, the State presented
evidence that defendant arrived at Laird's hotel room after Laird
called his supplier to order crack cocaine. Laird then identified
defendant as his supplier. Upon his arrest, defendant was found in
possession of rocks of an off-white substance. Agent Evans
testified as to the chain of custody and procedures for testing the
substance, and identified the substance as crack cocaine.
Therefore, in the light most favorable to the State, a jury could
properly infer that defendant possessed cocaine with intent to sell
or deliver. Accordingly, this assignment of error is overruled.
Chief Judge MARTIN and Judge GEER concur.
Report per Rule 30(e).
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