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State v. Beard

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

January 24, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ANDREW CURTIS BEARD

          Assigned on Briefs September 7, 2016

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Gibson County No. 9414 Clayburn Peeples, Judge

         A Gibson County Circuit Court Jury convicted the Appellant, Andrew Curtis Beard, of selling less than one-half gram of cocaine, a Class C felony, and he was sentenced as a Range II, multiple offender to eight years in confinement. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed

          J. Daniel Rogers, Trenton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrew Curtis Beard.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General; and Jason Scott and Jennifer McEwen, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE

         I. Factual Background

         In March 2013, the Gibson County Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment, charging the Appellant with selling and delivering less than one-half gram of cocaine on November 14, 2012. At the Appellant's July 2015 trial, Danny Lewis testified that he currently was the Chief Deputy of the Gibson County Sheriff's Department but was the Assistant Special Agent in charge of the Twenty-Eighth Judicial District Drug Task Force in November 2012. At some point, John "Pete" Beavers agreed to help the Drug Task Force by purchasing cocaine and other illegal drugs from drug dealers in the community. Beavers was paid $100 for each transaction he arranged "whether he made a buy or not."

         Deputy Lewis testified that on November 14, 2012, he and another officer met Beavers at a designated meeting area. Deputy Lewis searched Beavers and Beavers' vehicle, provided Beavers with money that had been photocopied, and wired Beavers with an audio transmission device and video recording equipment. Beavers placed a telephone call to Keith Cole, and Cole said he would meet Beavers at Beavers' home. Beavers drove from the meeting place to his house and waited outside for Cole to arrive. When Cole pulled up, the Appellant was with him.

         Deputy Lewis testified that the drug transaction was video recorded, and the State played the video for the jury. Deputy Lewis said that after the drug buy, he searched Beavers and Beavers' vehicle and that Beavers gave him a small baggie containing white powder. The substance field-tested positive for cocaine, and Deputy Lewis delivered the baggie to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) Crime Laboratory.

         On cross-examination, Deputy Lewis acknowledged that Cole was the target of the drug buy and was driving the car that arrived at Beavers' home. Deputy Lewis said that when he watched the video, though, he "didn't see Keith Cole reach across at all" and that the exchange appeared to occur with the Appellant. On redirect examination, Deputy Lewis testified that he did not see Beavers reach for anything from Cole or hand anything to Cole in the video.

         John "Pete" Beavers testified that he was forty-five years old and used to be a drug addict. He "got caught" with marijuana and offered to work for the Drug Task Force. On November 14, 2012, Beavers telephoned Deputy Lewis and said he "had somebody." Beavers met with Deputy Lewis, Deputy Lewis gave Beavers $100 to buy crack cocaine from Keith Cole, and Beavers telephoned Cole. Cole told Beavers that he did not have the drugs with him but that "he knew somebody that had them." Beavers said he agreed to meet Cole at Beavers' ...


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