Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Session December 19, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Anderson County No. B2C00544
Donald R. Elledge, Judge
Defendant, Duran Maszae Lee, was convicted by an Anderson
County Criminal Court jury of possession with the intent to
sell or to deliver more than 0.5 gram of cocaine, a Class B
felony. See T.C.A. § 39-17-417(a)(4) (2010)
(amended 2012, 2014). The trial court sentenced the Defendant
as a Range II, multiple offender to sixteen years'
confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the
evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, (2) that
the indictment is duplicitous, and (3) the trial court erred
by failing to exclude his pretrial statements to the police.
We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
L. Jolley, Jr. (on appeal, at sentencing, and at motion for
new trial hearing) and Megan A. Swain (on appeal), Knoxville,
Tennessee, and Brennan Lenihan (at trial), Clinton,
Tennessee, for the appellant, Duran Maszae Lee.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Benjamin A. Ball, Senior Counsel; Dave S. Clark, District
Attorney General; and Anthony Craighead, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.,
H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE
case relates to the seizure of cocaine during a vehicle
search after the police received a report of an unrelated
shooting in Clinton, Tennessee. At the trial, Oak Ridge
Police Detective John Criswell testified that on April 27,
2012, the police dispatcher provided him with information
about a possible shooting involving a gray-colored, four-door
Kia sedan. Detective Criswell responded to the area of the
shooting at approximately 1:00 p.m. and searched for the car.
H e said that he saw a car matching the description, that the
car was parked in the front yard of a home, and that he and
additional police officers approached the car. Detective
Criswell said that, without opening the car doors, he
examined the car for bullet holes, cartridge casings,
firearms, and injured persons. He said that he saw what he
believed was cocaine wrapped in cellophane in the
driver's side door handle.
Criswell testified that as he saw the off-white, rock-like
substance in the cellophane, the woman who rented the home
arrived. He said that the woman gave him permission to search
the car, that he obtained the substance wrapped in
cellophane, and that the Defendant came out of the home.
Photographs of the car and of the substance wrapped in the
cellophane were received as exhibits. Detective Criswell said
a field test showed that the substance weighed approximately
2.4 grams and contained cocaine.
Criswell testified that the Defendant asked to speak to
Captain Mike Uher, who was at the scene. Detective Criswell
said that the Defendant admitted driving the car and owning
the cocaine. Detective Criswell said that the Defendant also
admitted he "sold drugs for a living" because he
was unemployed. Detective Criswell overheard the Defendant
state that the amount of cocaine inside the car was not
"enough to send a man to the pen" because it only
weighed 2.4 grams.
Criswell testified that he, Sergeant Hill, and Officer
Freytag searched the home and that $825 cash and digital
scales were found inside a bedroom. A photograph of the money
and scales was received as an exhibit. Detective Criswell
said that the Defendant was adamant that the cocaine belonged
cross-examination, Detective Criswell testified that ten
officers responded to the shots-fired call, that the car in
which the cocaine was found matched the description of a car
involved in the shooting, and that he did not find any guns,
bullet holes, or cartridge casings inside the car. He agreed
that the search of the home and the car could have occurred
simultaneously and said that his focus was the car. He agreed
that Captain Uher told the Defendant "something to the
effect" that the woman who rented the home and the car
would go to jail if the Defendant did not admit the cocaine
belonged to him.
Criswell testified that based upon some of the items he saw
inside the bedroom where the money and digital scales were
found, he believed a woman slept in the bedroom. Detective
Criswell agreed that he never saw the Defendant inside the
bedroom. He agreed that he never saw the Defendant inside the
car and that the Defendant did not have any money or drugs on