Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs December 20, 2016
from the Criminal Court for Knox County Nos. 103163, 103177
Scott Green, Judge.
defendant, Jeffrey Stanley Mitchell, appeals his Knox County
Criminal Court jury convictions of one count of facilitation
of the possession with intent to sell more than 26 grams of
cocaine within a drug-free school zone, one count of third
offense simple possession of marijuana, two counts of the
facilitation of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine
within a drug-free school zone, and two counts of the sale of
.5 grams or more of cocaine within a drug free school zone,
arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his
convictions. Because our supreme court has determined that
the provisions of the Drug-Free School Zone Act do not apply
to convictions of facilitation, the sentences imposed for the
defendant's convictions of facilitation must be reversed
and the case remanded for resentencing on those counts. The
judgments of the trial court are affirmed in all other
R. App. P. 3; Judgments of the Criminal Court Affirmed in
Part; Reversed and Remanded in Part
Alexander Brown, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Jeffrey Stanley Mitchell.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee
W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols,
District Attorney General; and Sean McDermott, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and John Everett Williams, J.,
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.
defendant's convictions in case number 103177 relate to
the sale of cocaine to confidential informant Laquinton
Pettway on four occasions at the defendant's Woodbine
Avenue address in Knoxville. The convictions in case number
103163 relate to the execution of a search warrant at the
Woodbine Avenue residence on September 12, 2013.
trial, Mr. Pettway testified that he began working as a
confidential informant with Knoxville Police Department
("KPD") Officer Adam Broome after Officer Broome
arrested Mr. Pettway for selling cocaine. Mr. Pettway agreed
to work as an informant in exchange for leniency in relation
to his charges of violating his probation and selling
August 7, 2013, Officer Broome searched Mr. Pettway's
person and his vehicle and then provided Mr. Pettway with
$100 in marked money to purchase crack cocaine. Mr. Pettway
was outfitted with audio and video recording equipment. Mr.
Pettway then drove to a residence at 2544 Woodbine Avenue
where he knew he could purchase drugs from a man he knew as
"Jamaica" or one he knew as "Boss." He
entered the residence through a side door and walked to a
table where Boss and other men were seated. Mr. Pettway
purchased cocaine "[a]t the table." Mr. Pettway
identified the defendant from the video recording of the
transaction as the man he knew as Boss. He said that the
defendant appeared to sleep during the transaction. The
recording of this transaction was played for the jury. After
purchasing the cocaine, Mr. Pettway turned over the drugs and
the recording equipment to Officer Broome.
Pettway returned to the Woodbine Avenue residence to purchase
drugs on August 9, 2013. Again, Officer Broome searched Mr.
Pettway's person and his vehicle and provided him with
marked currency and recording equipment. Mr. Pettway again
entered the residence through the side door, but on this
occasion, he purchased cocaine directly from the defendant,
who was seated in the corner of the room. The video recording
of this transaction was played for the jury. Mr. Pettway said
that he had never purchased cocaine directly from the
defendant before and that he had always purchased from
Pettway followed the same procedure when making a controlled
purchase of $125 worth of crack cocaine at the Woodbine
Avenue residence on August 28, 2013. When he entered the
residence on that occasion, two men were at the kitchen
counter bagging up crack cocaine. He explained that drug
dealers would use a razor blade to shave smaller sale amounts
of crack cocaine from a larger "cookie" of crack
cocaine. He said that $125 would buy 2 to 3 grams of crack
cocaine from Boss and that that amount, which was typically
the size of a quarter, was referred to as an eight ball. Mr.
Pettway would then break down that amount into
"twenties, " which he explained was a $20 rock of
cocaine. He said that he was "supposed to get five"
$20 rocks from two grams of cocaine. Mr. Pettway purchased
the cocaine from one of the men bagging the cocaine at the
counter. The recording of this transaction was played for the
jury. He said that it was not unusual for several individuals
to be selling cocaine inside the Woodbine Avenue residence.
Mr. Pettway turned the drugs and recording equipment over to
Pettway initiated another controlled buy from the Woodbine
Avenue residence on September 10, 2013. He employed the same
procedure as he had in the previous buys. On that day, the
defendant personally bagged and sold the crack cocaine to Mr.
Pettway. Also on that day, Mr. Pettway inquired about
purchasing a silver revolver with a black grip from the
defendant, but the ...