Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session Date: January 22, 2015
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Cocke County Nos. 3457, 4924 Ben W. Hooper II, Judge
Scott Justice, Jefferson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Doyle Haney.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; James B. (Jimmy) Dunn, District Attorney General; and Brownlow Marsh, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.
ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE
This case arises from the Petitioner's two drug-related convictions. The Defendant pleaded not guilty in both cases, and the trial in case number 4924 occurred before the trial in case number 3457. Relative to case number 4924, the Petitioner appealed his conviction, and this court summarized the facts of the case as follows:
At trial, Assistant Special Agent James Williams with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Drug Investigative Division testified that he participated in a controlled purchase of crack cocaine on August 9, 2006, involving Teresa Woodward, an undercover TBI agent, Jacquelyn Dalton, a confidential informant, and the Defendant. Agent Williams assisted in briefing Agent Woodward and Ms. Dalton before the controlled buy; both Ms. Dalton's person and her vehicle were searched. Agent Williams monitored the purchase via transmitting device and recorded the exchange. The audio recording of the transaction was entered as an exhibit and played for the jury.
To facilitate the exchange, Ms. Dalton was given $100, in twenty-dollar bills, to buy an "eight ball" from the Defendant for $150. Agent Woodward had an additional $60 to complete the transaction. Agent Williams explained that this was a control measure, done in order for the parties to have to talk about change.
Ms. Dalton called the Defendant twice to arrange the purchase, but her calls went unanswered. She and Agent Woodward then proceeded to the Defendant's residence on Rock City Road. According to Ms. Dalton, they encountered the Defendant, along with two other men, in "the loop" at "the end of the road." Ms. Dalton knew one of the other individuals as "Steve, " but she was unable to identify the other man. She stopped the vehicle next to a truck, and the Defendant approached.
According to Agent Woodward, as the Defendant approached, she asked him "what he was doing, " to which he advised that "he was building a fence." According to Agent Woodward, who was familiar with the Defendant before this transaction, the Defendant "appeared somewhat edgy" that day, meaning that he seemed "nervous or paranoid." The Defendant directed the conversation towards what the two women "wanted." Ms. Dalton responded that she desired an "eight" at a price of $150, and the Defendant agreed to the exchange. The women then combined their respective amounts of cash, $160 total, and Ms. Dalton asked the Defendant if he had $10 in [change].
The Defendant motioned to Ms. Dalton to get out of her vehicle and come "to the other side of the truck" parked beside her. Ms. Dalton estimated that to get to the other side of the truck, required her to travel roughly the "length of a vehicle" or about ten feet. After she complied with the request and went to the other side of the truck, the Defendant pointed to a cinder block. Ms. Dalton picked up the cinder block, and inside there was a ten-dollar bill and two "rocks" of crack cocaine. Ms. Dalton placed her money in the block.
During the transaction, one of the rocks fell on the ground, but Ms. Dalton retrieved it. Ms. Dalton was surprised that there were only two rocks of crack cocaine and asked, "Is this it, just two rocks?" Steve, one of the other men, then said, "I'll buy it back from you."
Agent Woodward, sitting in the passenger's seat of Ms. Dalton's vehicle, was able to observe the transaction between Ms. Dalton and the Defendant "from the chest up." Agent Woodward opined that she was approximately five feet away from Ms. Dalton and the Defendant, who were on the opposite side of the other truck. Agent Woodward was not able to hear the conversation, but she saw the two make an exchange. She also witnessed Ms. Dalton bend down to the ground "as ...