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State v. Anderson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

October 24, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
PRENTICE FARRELL ANDERSON

          Assigned on Briefs May 7, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 18-72 Roy B. Morgan, Jr., Judge

         Defendant, Prentice Farrell Anderson, was indicted by the Madison County Grand Jury for one count each of possession of more than 0.5 ounce of marijuana with intent to sell; possession of more than 0.5 ounce of marijuana with intent to deliver; possession of 0.5 gram or more of cocaine with intent to sell; possession of 0.5 gram or more of cocaine with intent to deliver; unlawful possession of hydrocodone; possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia; driving with a canceled, suspended, or revoked license; and driving in violation of the window tint law. A jury found Defendant guilty as charged on all eight counts. The trial court merged Defendant's convictions for possession with intent to sell and possession with intent to deliver marijuana, as well as his convictions for possession with intent to sell and possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and Defendant received a total effective sentence of ten years' incarceration. In this appeal as of right, Defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions because the State failed to prove possession beyond a reasonable doubt. Having reviewed the record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Jeremy B. Epperson, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Prentice Farrell Anderson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Lee Sparks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, JUDGE

          Proof presented at trial

         On July 6, 2017, Investigators Rodney Savage, Kelly Schrotberger, and Ashley Robertson of the Jackson Police Department stopped a green Chevrolet Avalanche in the area of Highway 70 East and Interstate 40 in Jackson, Tennessee. The investigators stopped the vehicle because its windows appeared to be tinted darker than what is legally allowed. Investigator Savage testified that he approached the vehicle and made contact with Defendant, who was driving the vehicle and was the only occupant of the vehicle. He testified that he "smell[ed] a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle." He also observed "a plastic bag with a green leafy substance that [officers] identified as marijuana." The bag containing marijuana was on the center console. Investigator Savage testified that he checked Defendant's license and discovered that it was revoked. He also testified that he used a tintometer to test the tint of the windows on the vehicle and discovered that the tint was 18 percent, which is outside of the legal limit of 35 percent. Investigator Savage determined that the vehicle was registered to Moniqua Helms. Investigator Savage testified that it was common for drug traffickers to use a vehicle owned by another person. Defendant gave a written statement that a person he knew as "Slang" or "Blade" was going to pay him to deliver the vehicle to a Walmart parking lot.

         Investigator Schrotberger testified that she approached the passenger side of the vehicle and also saw a plastic bag containing what appeared to be marijuana on the center console of the vehicle. She also smelled an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Investigator Schrotberger searched the vehicle after Investigator Savage asked Defendant to exit the vehicle. In the floorboard of the back passenger side of the vehicle, she found a duffel bag containing marijuana, cocaine, hydrocodone pills, and drug paraphernalia. She also found identification belonging to Shartavous Rollins inside the vehicle.

         Investigator Robertson testified that the vehicle was registered to Mr. Rollins' mother, Moniqua Helms. The substances found inside the vehicle were analyzed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Rachel Strandquist, a special agent forensic scientist with the TBI, testified that the items seized included 215.24 grams of marijuana, a yellow tablet of hydrocodone, a white tablet of hydrocodone, and 21.96 grams of cocaine.

         Defendant testified that on July 6, 2017, he saw investigators "roll by" his apartment complex. He testified that after investigators left, Mr. Rollins, whom Defendant knew as "Tookie," offered him $100 to drive Mr. Rollins' vehicle to a Walmart parking lot. Defendant testified that he agreed because he "needed the money at the time." Defendant opened the vehicle door and smelled marijuana. Defendant asked Mr. Rollins if there was "anything in [the] truck [he] needed to know about," and Mr. Rollins replied, "no." Defendant testified that Mr. Rollins told him that he had just smoked marijuana in the vehicle. Defendant got into the vehicle and sprayed an odor eliminator called "Blunt Effects." Defendant testified that he did not have any knowledge of any illegal substances inside the vehicle. He acknowledged that his driver's license was revoked at the time he drove the vehicle.

         Defendant testified that the investigators followed him for "a good three to four miles." Defendant testified that there was no marijuana on the center console of the vehicle while he was driving. He testified that he did not notice a bag of marijuana in the passenger side cup holder until Investigator Schrotberger pointed it out to him. He testified that if he had known there was marijuana in the vehicle, he "probably would have tried to dispose of it." Defendant acknowledged that he had ...


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