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Matlock v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division III

February 4, 2015

ERIC MATLOCK, APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS, APPELLEE

Page 777

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 778

APPEAL FROM THE DALLAS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, NO.CR-2013-10-04, HONORABLE ROBIN J. CARROLL, JUDGE.

Morris Law Firm, P.A., by: Jimmy C. Morris, Jr., for appellant.

Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Ashley Priest, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge. GRUBER and GLOVER, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 779

WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge

Appellant appeals from his conviction by jury trial of possession of paraphernalia with intent to deliver, a Class B felony; maintaining a drug premises, a Class C felony; and possession of a controlled substance-crack cocaine, a Class D felony. On appeal, appellant argues that the circuit court erred in (1) denying his motion for directed verdict on each of the three charges he was convicted of, and (2) running his sentences consecutively. We affirm.

Darrell Spells, then director of the Thirteenth Judicial District Drug Task Force in Dallas County, Arkansas, developed information that appellant was selling narcotics in Fordyce, Arkansas. Acting on this information, Officer Spells engaged an informant to make a controlled buy from appellant.[1] Officer Spells and the informant met on the night of November 26, 2012. Officer Spells had the informant empty her pockets to ensure she had no other money or drugs on her. No further search was completed. Officer Spells gave her sixty dollars to make the purchase and a cell-phone-appearing device to record audio and video.

At approximately 7:00 p.m., Officer Spells drove the informant near 616 East 10th Street where Officer Spells had information appellant lived. The informant exited Officer Spells's vehicle and walked in the direction of 616 East 10th Street. Officer Spells had no visual of the informant once she left the vehicle. She returned approximately ten minutes later with what appeared to be crack cocaine. Based on this evidence, Officer Spells obtained a search warrant for the residence located at 616 East 10th Street and for appellant. The same was executed on January 14, 2013. No one was in the home at the time of execution. Appellant surrendered himself to police on January 15, 2013.

During the search, Officer Spells seized two sets of digital scales, some Glad sandwich bags, two pieces of mail addressed to appellant at a neighboring address, and a piece of paper appearing to have a handwritten ledger on it. One of the scales had a white powdery substance on it that appeared to be crack cocaine.[2] Officer Spells scraped off the residue and put it in an envelope for testing. Testing of the substance received from the informant during the controlled buy and of the substance scraped off the scale revealed that the

Page 780

former was .5237 grams of cocaine and the latter was .0225 grams of cocaine.

On March 14, 2013, the State filed a three-count felony information charging appellant with delivery of fewer than two grams of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia for the purpose of manufacturing cocaine, and maintaining a drug premises. The State amended the information on October 18, 2013, to add habitual-offender charges to each of the three counts charged in the March 14, 2013 information. A second amended information was filed on February 5, 2014, adding a count of possession of fewer than two grams of cocaine.[3]

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found appellant not guilty of the charge of delivery of fewer than two grams of cocaine. However, the jury found appellant guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia for the purpose of manufacturing cocaine, maintaining a drug premises, and possession of fewer than two grams of cocaine. The jury recommended a sentence of ten years' imprisonment for each offense, but did not make a recommendation on whether the sentences should be served concurrently or consecutively. The circuit court ordered that the sentences be served ...


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