Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Grayson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 8, 2016

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
FRANKLIN DALE GRAYSON, JR.

          Assigned on Briefs October 25, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Johnson County No. 2014-CR-119 Stacy L. Street, Judge

          Bob Oaks, District Public Defender; Melanie Sellers, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial and on appeal), for the appellant, Franklin Dale Grayson, Jr.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Tony Clark, District Attorney General; and Matthew Roark, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr. and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE

         FACTS

         On September 15, 2014, investigators from the Johnson County Sheriff's Department arrested the defendant after finding an active, one-pot methamphetamine lab in his possession. Investigators learned of the defendant's active methamphetamine lab through Richie Greene, a confidential informant. Prior to the defendant's arrest, Mr. Greene contacted Investigator Jonathan Stout and informed him that the defendant would be cooking methamphetamine that evening.

         Specifically, Mr. Greene stated that prior to contacting Investigator Stout, he travelled to Virginia with Quincy Roark. While in Virginia, Mr. Roark purchased pseudoephedrine pills from Walgreens.[1] After purchasing the pills, Mr. Roark asked Mr. Greene to take the pills to the defendant so that the defendant could make methamphetamine. At the time, the defendant was staying in a trailer rented by Mr. Roark located at 6171 Highway 91 North in Johnson County, Tennessee. The defendant was also in a relationship with Mr. Roark's wife.[2] This tension led Mr. Roark to ask Mr. Greene to deliver the pseudoephedrine pills to the defendant for the cook.

         Rather than immediately delivering the pills to the defendant, Mr. Greene contacted Investigator Stout. The two met, and Mr. Green showed Investigator Stout the box of pseudoephedrine pills purchased by Mr. Roark. According to Mr. Greene, Investigator Stout instructed him to go to the Highway 91 property "to see if there was any evidence of a lab there." Investigator Stout kept the pseudoephedrine pills and began preparing a search warrant. While Mr. Greene was at the property, the defendant told him that "he had everything he needed. He [was] just waiting on the pills." The defendant then asked Mr. Greene to come back with the pseudoephedrine pills, and Mr. Greene agreed to do so.

         After leaving the defendant, Mr. Greene then met with Investigator Stout a second time. Investigator Stout gave Mr. Greene the pseudoephedrine pills and a recorder. Mr. Greene had the recorder on when he returned to the Highway 91 property with his wife and a friend, Mary Howard. After receiving the pseudoephedrine from Mr. Greene, the defendant began to cook methamphetamine. The other ingredients needed for the cook were already in the defendant's possession.

         The State played the recording for the jury at trial. Mr. Greene identified his voice on the recording along with the voices of his wife, Mary Howard, and the defendant. Mr. Greene also identified portions of the recording that captured the defendant in the process of making methamphetamine. Specifically, he testified that 52 minutes and 8 seconds into the recording, the defendant "already had the pills crushed up, put in the bottle, mix, and it was starting." Mr. Greene also identified portions of the manufacturing process that could be heard on the recording, including the sound of the cook bottle being shaken and being opened to release pressure. Mr. Greene stated that no one assisted the defendant with the manufacturing process. After the cook was underway, Mr. Greene and his wife left the Highway 91 property and called Investigator Stout.

         Investigator Stout, along with three other investigators from the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, then initiated a search of the Highway 91 property.[3] Upon their arrival, they found the defendant on the telephone in front of the trailer on the property. Investigator Christopher Allen Lipford detained the defendant, and the defendant consented to a search of the property.[4] The consensual search of the property revealed an active, one-pot methamphetamine lab on the back porch of the trailer. Investigator Stout photographed the property and collected a sample of liquid from the one-pot methamphetamine lab to be tested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

         During the search, investigators also found drug paraphernalia throughout the property. Investigator Lipford logged all of the evidence, which included: a four-pack of Energizer batteries, Ultimate Lithium; tubing; two hypodermic syringes; a spoon with residue; a plastic baggie with residue; two Tennessee citations issued to the defendant; a black suitcase; iodized salt, 20 ounce; a Walmart receipt; a CVS pharmacy receipt; a red straw; Ronsonol lighter fluid; a black funnel; Drano, 18 ounce; a Walgreens bag with a receipt; a bottle with unknown liquid; a rubber hose with pop bottle lid; a bottle with unknown liquid; small weight scales; a Samsung Verizon cell phone; and a pop bottle with unknown liquid.

         Investigator Shawn Brown interviewed the defendant during the search and obtained a statement from him. In his statement, the defendant admitted that the cook bottle found on the back porch was his and that it contained "pills (sudo), lye, ammonia (sic) nitrate, Coleman fuel, [and] lithium." When asked about the intended purpose of the cook bottle, the defendant stated, "To manufacture meth, I reckon." Further, the defendant indicated he normally got "[a]lmost two grams" of methamphetamine from this type of cook. The defendant's signed statement was entered into evidence at trial.

         Agent Ashley Cummings, a forensic chemist with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, tested the liquid that Investigator Stout extracted from the cook bottle during the search. Agent Cummings' report indicated that the liquid sample contained methamphetamine. James Michael Derry, an expert in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine and in methamphetamine lab deconstruction, explained the process of making methamphetamine to the jury. He listed pseudoephedrine, lye, ammonium nitrate, fuel, lithium, and water as necessary ingredients in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Mr. Derry also reviewed a photograph of the cook bottle found during the search, and opined that the defendant was "well in the process" of making methamphetamine.

         The defense proof consisted of testimony from Earl Dunn, Steven Bunn, and the defendant. Mr. Dunn testified that he owned the Highway 91 property and believed Mr. Roark, not the defendant, was living in the trailer on the property. Mr. Bunn also testified that on September 15, 2014, he picked the defendant up around 11:00 a.m., worked the defendant until about 5:00 or 5:30 p.m., drank beer with the defendant, and then dropped him off at the Highway 91 property.

         The defendant testified that after working for Mr. Bunn, he returned to the Highway 91 property around 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. The defendant admitted to drinking beer and taking a "shot" of methamphetamine on the day of his arrest. The defendant further testified that Mr. Greene came to the Highway 91 property one time on September 15, 2014, with a bottle and pseudoephedrine pills. The defendant stated that he and Mr. Greene put the cook together, testifying: "It wasn't just me. I mean, I - I can't say that I'm innocent of any of it." When asked about his plans for the methamphetamine, the defendant admitted that if he's "involved in it, if it's being made, [he's] doing it." Additionally, the defendant testified that he was previously convicted of felony evading arrest, failure to appear, and theft under $500.

         At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of initiating a process to manufacture methamphetamine and possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia. As to Count 2, the jury found the defendant guilty of the lesser-included offense of simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance. The jury found the defendant not guilty of maintaining a dwelling for using or selling controlled substances as charged in Count 3.

         The trial court sentenced the defendant to thirteen years in confinement as a Range II, Multiple Offender, for initiating a process to manufacture methamphetamine, eleven months and twenty-nine days for simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, and eleven months and twenty-nine days for possession of drug paraphernalia with all sentences to be ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.