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State v. Taylor

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 15, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
MARCIA LATRICE TAYLOR

          November 8, 2016 Session

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Maury County No. 24569 David L. Allen, Judge

         A Maury County grand jury indicted the Defendant, Marcia Latrice Taylor, for one count of possession of 0.5 grams or more of a Schedule II substance, cocaine, with the intent to sell or deliver and one count of possession of 14.175 grams of a Schedule VI substance, marijuana, with the intent to sell or deliver. The Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence found as a result of a search of an establishment that she owned based upon the credibility and reliability of the confidential informant whose statement police used as a basis for the warrant. The trial court granted the motion, and the State appeals. On appeal, the State contends that the trial court erred because the confidential informant's reliability and knowledge were corroborated by independent police investigation. After review, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         Tenn. R. App. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Reversed and Remanded; Indictment Reinstated

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Matthew Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Brent A. Cooper, District Attorney General; and Patrick Powell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

          Jacob J. Hubbell, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellee, Marcia Latrice Taylor.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Alan E. Glenn, J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.

         I. Facts

         This case arises from evidence seized by the police after they searched the Defendant's place of business. The Defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence, contending that the search warrant was defective because it did not establish the knowledge and reliability of the confidential informant. The trial court held a hearing on the motion, during which the parties presented the following evidence: The parties first presented a copy of the search warrant and the supporting affidavit. The record reflects the affidavit in support of the search warrant alleged:

INVESTIGATOR HUNTER KREADY, COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT VICE & NARCOTICS UNIT [swears] that there is probable and reasonable cause to believe that, [THE DEFENDANT], JOHN AND/OR JANE DOE, is/are now in possession of certain evidence of a crime . . . .
The Affiant further testifies that said evidence is now located and may be found in possession of said persons or on said premises located in Maury County, Tennessee, and more particularly described as follows: . . . A COMMERCIAL BUSINESS BEING KNOWN AS DIRTY DIRTY LOUNGE . . . THIS IS TO INCLUDE ANY AND ALL VEHICLES AND OUTBUILDINGS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH [THE DEFENDANT] AND THE OCCUPANTS OF [THE LOUNGE].

         The affidavit went on to state that Investigator Kready believed the following to be true:

This affiant has been contacted by a cooperating individual stating that they could purchase cocaine from [the Defendant] at . . . Dirty Dirty Lounge . . . . [The Defendant] and Tiffany Raynell Martin are shown as co-owners of Dirty Dirty Lounge. While researching information of Dirty Dirty Lounge it was discovered a rental agreement dated 02/03/2015 between the property owner Keith Hall with [the Defendant] and Fontaine Bodrogi White showing as the renters. This was ...

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