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State v. Clay

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 16, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
DAMARKO[1] D. CLAY

          Assigned on Briefs November 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 16-108 Donald H. Allen, Judge

         The Defendant, Damarko D. Clay, appeals as of right from his convictions for possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The Defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Joseph T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee (on appeal); and Harold E. Dorsey (at trial), Alamo, Tennessee, for the appellant, Damarko D. Clay.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; JerryWoodall, District Attorney General; and Brian M. Gilliam, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On February 29, 2016, the Madison County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant with one count each of possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-17-417, -425. As part of the same indictment, the grand jury also charged the Defendant with two counts each of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1324. This case proceeded to trial on September 20, 2016.

         Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Adam Cash testified that he was assigned to Madison County and that he was working on June 19, 2015. He said that he conducted a traffic stop "on Old Hickory Boulevard in Madison County, in Jackson[, ]" explaining that he observed a Jeep Liberty "going over the posted speed limit." Using radar, he "estimated the speed to be 42 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone." Trooper Cash "activated [his] lights and pulled [the Defendant] over" on Hollywood Drive. Trooper Cash explained,

I walked up to the driver's side window on the driver's side and noticed that there were three occupants in the vehicle and all of . . . the windows where [the occupants] were seated were rolled down, which [was] odd for the time of year it [was]. You know, normally people would not have the windows open when it's hot in the middle of the summer and with the AC on.

         Trooper Cash determined that the driver was a man named Eric Coman, the man in the front passenger seat was the Defendant, and the backseat passenger was Michael Roberson. He explained that none of the three men had identifying information, so he conducted computer searches on each individual using "several databases." Trooper Cash testified that he intended to write the driver a ticket for speeding, for failing to yield to the right to an emergency vehicle, and for not having his driver's license.

         Trooper Cash explained that he detected "some criminal indicators, some clues or indicators that might, you know, point to some kind of criminal activity being afoot, which kind of raised my suspicions[.]" Trooper Cash said that he called for "assistance from other officers" and "called for a K9." He said that Officer Devon Bray from the Jackson Police Department (JPD) arrived at the scene with the requested dog. Trooper Cash said that in order for Officer Bray to conduct the canine search, the three men needed to exit the vehicle. Officer Cash ...


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