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. Miller

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 20, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ANTHONY MILLER

          Assigned on Briefs September 7, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 14-04043 Glenn Wright, Judge

         The Defendant, Anthony Miller, was indicted for possession with intent to sell 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, a Class B felony; possession with intent to deliver 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, a Class B felony; possession with intent to sell one-half ounce or more but less than ten pounds of marijuana, a Class E felony; possession with intent to deliver one-half ounce or more but less than ten pounds of marijuana, a Class E felony; and possession of a firearm with intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony, a Class D felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-417, -1324(a). Prior to submission to the jury, the amount for the cocaine possession charges was reduced to less than 0.5 grams, a Class C felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-417(c)(2)(A). Following a jury trial, the Defendant was convicted as charged of the marijuana and unlawful firearm possession charges and of the lesser-included offense of simple possession, a Class A misdemeanor, with respect to the cocaine possession charges. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-418. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine days for the misdemeanor cocaine possession offenses, two years for the felony marijuana possession offenses, and the mandatory minimum three years for the unlawful firearm possession offense. The trial court ordered all of the sentences to be served concurrently for a total effective sentence of three years. In this appeal as of right, the Defendant contends (1) that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm; and (2) that the trial court erred in instructing the jury on the applicable mental state for the unlawful possession of a firearm offense. Following our review, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to sustain the Defendant's conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm. However, we also conclude that the trial court committed plain error in instructing the jury with respect to the unlawful firearm possession offense that the Defendant could be found guilty if he acted "either intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly." As such, we remand this case for a new trial on the unlawful possession of a firearm charge. Additionally, we hold that the trial court failed to merge the Defendant's convictions for simple possession of cocaine into one conviction and his convictions for felony possession of marijuana into one conviction. Accordingly, we remand this case to the trial court for merger of those convictions and entry of corrected judgment forms reflecting said merger.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal Court Affirmed in Part; Reversed in Part; Case Remanded

          Larry E. Fitzgerald, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anthony Miller.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Charles Summers III, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On November 22, 2014, Memphis Police Department officers executed a search warrant for a residence on Haywood Avenue. Shortly before the search, one of the officers witnessed the Defendant enter his car, which was parked in the home's driveway, and drive away. The Defendant was quickly pulled over for running a stop sign. The officer who stopped the Defendant smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the Defendant's car. The Defendant admitted to having marijuana and produced a small bag containing marijuana from his right pocket.

         When informed about the search warrant, the Defendant gave the officers a key to the house. The officers and the Defendant returned to the house where the officers used the key to enter the house. There was no one else in the house at the time it was searched. Outside the house, the officers found video surveillance cameras. Inside the house, a surveillance monitor was found. Testimony was presented at trial that it was "very common" for drug dealers to utilize video surveillance systems. Additionally, a box of .380 caliber ammunition was found sitting out on a table in another bedroom.

         In one of the back bedrooms, the bed had a large headboard with built-in cabinets. Inside the headboard's cabinets, the officers found a "large red bag." The red bag contained a large bag of what appeared to be marijuana and two smaller bags of the same. On the same shelf as the red bag was a large digital scale and a box of sandwich bags. Police officers explained to the jury that sandwich bags were often used to package drugs for sale. Also inside the cabinet, officers found a jar that appeared to contain more marijuana, a small plastic bag containing white powder, and what appeared to be a marijuana grinder.

         Next to the bed was a dresser. A smaller digital scale was found on top of the dresser. Inside "the top left drawer, " the officers found $165 in small denominations. It was explained at trial that keeping a large amount of small denominations was typical "to [the] drug trade." There was a small closet at the foot of the bed. On a top shelf of the closet, officers found a shoebox containing two handguns: a Lorcin .380 caliber and a Bryco Jennings .22 caliber. Both handguns were loaded. The handguns were not tested for fingerprints, and the MPD officers testifying at trial stated that they did not know who owned the guns.

         The Defendant's girlfriend also lived at the house, and the utilities for the house were registered in her name. However, the Defendant had the Haywood Avenue address listed on his driver's license. Additionally, the officer found inside the house the Defendant's work badge, paychecks, a debit card in his name, an ADT Security Service bill for the house addressed to the Defendant, and other miscellaneous mail addressed to the Defendant.

         Subsequent forensic testing revealed the white powder to be .47 grams of cocaine and the green leafy substance found inside the house to be, in total, 395.22 grams of marijuana.

         The Defendant testified at trial[1] that the house belonged to his girlfriend and that he periodically stayed there. However, the Defendant admitted that the marijuana belonged to him and that he sold some of the marijuana. The Defendant also admitted that ...


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.