Adless Desamours v. State of Rhode Island

Supreme Court No. 2017-351-Appeal. (PM 12-128) Adless Desamours : v. : State of Rhode Island. : NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the Rhode Island Reporter. Readers are requested to notify the Opinion Analyst, Supreme Court of Rhode Island, 250 Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, at (401) 222- 3258 of any typographical or other formal errors in order that corrections may be made before the opinion is published. Supreme Court No. 2017-351-Appeal. (PM 12-128) Adless Desamours : v. : State of Rhode Island. : Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ. OPINION Justice Goldberg, for the Court. Adless Desamours (applicant) appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief in Providence County Superior Court.1 This case came before the Supreme Court on March 28, 2019, pursuant to an order directing the parties to appear and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal should not be summarily decided. After hearing the arguments of counsel and reviewing the memoranda of the parties, we are satisfied that cause has not been shown. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court. Facts and Travel On September 15, 1999, at approximately 5 p.m., applicant was arrested by Providence police officers in Roger Williams Park in Providence, Rhode Island. The applicant was charged by way of criminal information with one count of possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, in violation of G.L. 1956 § 21-28-4.01(C)(1)(a), and one count of obstructing a police officer, in 1 In 2015, G.L. 1956 § 10-9.1-9 was amended to require that an aggrieved party file a petition for writ of certiorari to review the denial of an application for postconviction relief. See P.L. 2015, ch. 91, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 92, § 1. Because applicant’s notice of appeal was filed on April 23, 2012, before this amendment took effect, his appeal is proper. -1- violation of G.L. 1956 § 11-32-1. The facts leading up to applicant’s arrest and subsequent plea of nolo contendere are in dispute. According to the criminal information and the accompanying documents, on September 15, 1999, Officer Shawn Kennedy (Officer Kennedy) of the Providence Police Department was on patrol in Roger Williams Park and observed applicant, who was seated at a picnic table, drinking a bottle of malt liquor. As Officer Kennedy approached applicant to inform him that he was not allowed to drink alcohol in the park, he observed “in plain view” a $20 bill on the picnic table next to applicant. The $20 bill had a “white powder substance” on it, which appeared to be cocaine. When asked his name, applicant falsely identified himself as “Dale Montellio” and stated that his date of birth was April 12, 1974. The applicant was taken into custody “without incident for public drinking and possession of suspected cocaine[.]” Officer Kennedy also seized the bottle of malt liquor and the $20 bill, which later tested positive for cocaine. Once at the police ...

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