Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Worsham v. State

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

December 13, 2017

LUCAN DHRU WORSHAM APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE FAULKNER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 23CR-15-317] HONORABLE CHARLES E. CLAWSON, JR., JUD G E

          Brian G. Brooks, Attorney at Law, PLLC, by: Brian G. Brooks, for appellant.

          Leslie Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: Rebecca Kane, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.

          WAYMOND M. BROWN, JUDGE

         Appellant appeals from his conviction by jury trial of maintaining a drug premises.[1]On appeal, appellant argues that (1) the circuit court erred in failing to grant his motion for a mistrial when appellee shifted the burden of proof during questioning of a witness and (2) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for maintaining a drug premises. We affirm.

         I. Facts

         According to testimony at the jury trial, appellant rented a room at a Motel 6 in Conway for his friend Steve Menzie because Menzie did not have a valid form of identification. After renting the room, appellant took his three-year-old son and seven- month-old daughter to the room. Appellant's estranged wife contacted him requesting to see the children and visited with them at the hotel room.[2] Following her visit, she contacted the Conway Police Department, and officers were dispatched to check on the welfare of the children.

         When Officer Danny Worley and two other officers arrived, appellant answered the door and verified that the room was rented in his name. Menzie and another man were in the room with appellant and his children. As Officer Worley explained that he was there to conduct a welfare check, he noticed what appeared to be an assault rifle near the nightstand behind appellant. Appellant explained that it was an airsoft gun and gave Officer Worley permission to come into the room to inspect the gun. Upon entering the room, Officer Worley noticed a "bong" and a "one hitter, " drug paraphernalia used to smoke marijuana, sitting in plain view on the nightstand between the beds. At Officer Worley's request, appellant consented to a search of his person whereupon Officer Worley discovered a baggie containing .1566 grams of methamphetamine and a glass pipe with .3198 grams of marijuana residue in appellant's pockets. Appellant admitted that all of these items belonged to him. Officer Worley also searched Menzie and the other man finding a pill bottle and two identifications on Menzie-none belonging to him-and a spoon with residue on it on the other man.

         After Officer Worley read appellant his Miranda rights, appellant executed a consent-to-search form authorizing the officers to search the motel room. During his search, Officer Worley found a box underneath the bed containing drugs and drug paraphernalia along with two pipes on the floor next to the box. He also found another box on a shelf that also contained drug paraphernalia. One glass pipe contained .1331 grams of marijuana, and one contained methamphetamine residue. A glass smoking device contained .3198 grams of marijuana. Two clear bags were found: one contained a crystal-like substance, one bag of which was found to contain a total of .4060 grams of methamphetamine, and the other contained a counterfeit substance.

         Appellant was subsequently charged by felony information on May 4, 2015, with one count each of maintaining drug premises, a Class C Felony; possession with purpose to deliver, delivery or manufacture of counterfeit substance, a Class C felony; possession of methamphetamine with purpose to deliver, a Class C felony; possession of drug paraphernalia to ingest, inhale, etc., a Class D felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A Misdemeanor. He was also charged therein with two counts of endangering welfare of a minor - II, a Class A misdemeanor. Through multiple filed amended felony informations, the last being filed on July 6, 2016, the possession with purpose to deliver, delivery or manufacture of counterfeit substance charge was dropped and replaced with one count of possession of a controlled substance - schedule I/II, methamphetamine, a Class D felony; and one count of failure to appear, a Class C felony, was added.

         A trial on the matter was held on August 25, 2016, following which a jury found appellant guilty of all remaining charges[3] and the circuit court sentenced him to a total of 192 months in the Arkansas Department of Correction. This timely appeal followed.

         II. Sufficiency

         The prohibition against double jeopardy requires that we review the sufficiency of evidence before we examine trial error.[4] This court treats a motion for directed verdict as a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence.[5] In a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence, this court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the State and considers only the evidence that supports the conviction.[6] We will affirm a conviction if there is substantial evidence to support it.[7] Substantial evidence may be direct or circumstantial.[8] Evidence is substantial if it is of sufficient force and character to compel reasonable minds to reach a conclusion and pass beyond suspicion and conjecture.[9] This court does not weigh the evidence presented at trial, as that is a matter for the fact-finder; nor do we assess the credibility of the witnesses.[10]

         Appellant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for maintaining a premise, specifically arguing that the location was not kept or maintained by him, and that there was no evidence that the location was used for others to use or obtain drugs. We cannot agree.

         It is unlawful for any person knowingly to keep or maintain any store, shop, warehouse, dwelling, building or other structure or place or premise that is resorted to by a person for the purpose of using or obtaining a controlled substance or that is used for keeping a controlled substance.[11] A person acts "knowingly" with respect to his conduct or the attendant circumstances when he is aware that his conduct is of that nature or that such circumstances exist, and a person acts "knowingly" with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that it is practically certain that the conduct will cause the result.[12]

         A. Keep or Maintain

         Appellant argues that the phrase "keep or maintain" is one that "direct[s] a constant and prolonged effort to set up some place, structure or premises for using, obtaining or keeping drugs." Neither statute nor caselaw defines the phrase "keep or maintain"; furthermore, no minimum-time-period requirement for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.