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State v. Harris

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

July 29, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
CEDRIC DANTE HARRIS

          Assigned on Briefs June 5, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Carroll County No. 17-CR-23 Donald E. Parish, Judge.

         Defendant, Cedric Dante Harris, was convicted of possession of 0.5 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, simple possession of marijuana, and tampering with evidence. He appeals, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions. After carefully reviewing the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.

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

          Guy T. Wilkinson, District Public Defender; Billy R. Roe, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Cedric Dante Harris.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Michael F. Stowe, District Attorney General; and James B. Webb, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall and Alan E. Glenn, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE

         Procedural History and Factual Summary

         Defendant was indicted for one count of possession of 0.5 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, one count of simple possession of marijuana, one count of tampering with evidence, one count of unlawful possession of a weapon, and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. Defendant proceeded to trial, during which the following facts were adduced.

         On October 28, 2016, the 24th Judicial District Drug Task Force executed an arrest warrant for Bobby Joe Kemp, Jr. Upon reaching the address in Huntingdon, Tennessee listed on the warrant, Agent Jason Caldwell knocked on the front door. They were informed by the occupant of the residence, Tyler Moore, that Mr. Kemp did not live there. Shortly after this conversation transpired, two members of the task force, including United States Marshal Shane Brown, entered the home through the back door. Marshal Brown breached the back door of the house after he tried and failed to receive confirmation that the officers at the front door had entered the residence. Marshal Brown heard commotion and a toilet flushing within the house. Marshal Brown described the movement he heard inside the house as "[h]urried . . . like stomping, running." Once he entered the house, Marshal Brown encountered Defendant in the kitchen "trying to come out the back." Defendant gave Marshal Brown permission to search the house for Mr. Kemp.

         Authorities searched the house room-by-room. During this sweep of the house, the officers came across a set of digital scales in the kitchen. In the bathroom, connected to the rear bedroom, they found 5.12 grams of marijuana and a clear bag containing 3.45 grams of a crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine inside of the toilet. Agent Caldwell and Tim Meggs, the director of the task force, testified that the amount of methamphetamine recovered along with the other evidence collected implied Defendant was a dealer rather than simply a user.

         The officers found a debit card with Defendant's name on it. They also found clothing that the officers concluded belonged to Defendant in the rear bedroom. They determined they were Defendant's clothes because they were for a "heavier individual." The articles of clothing did not appear to fit Mr. Moore's body type. When the officers searched Defendant, they found $2100 on him in "multiple denominations." A .22 caliber rifle was also found underneath a couch in the living room, but there was no ammunition found in the house.

         Chief Deputy David Bunn of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office arrived at the house after the initial search for Mr. Kemp and gathered information needed to show probable cause in order to get a search warrant for the front bedroom. After obtaining a search warrant, Deputy Bunn returned to ...


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