Jake Norwood v. State of Arkansas

Cite as 2022 Ark. App. 319 ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS DIVISION I No. CR-21-544 JAKE NORWOOD Opinion Delivered September 7, 2022 APPEAL FROM THE HOT SPRING COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT APPELLANT [NO. 30CR-20-63] V. HONORABLE CHRIS E WILLIAMS, JUDGE STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE AFFIRMED WAYMOND M. BROWN, Judge A Hot Spring County Circuit Court jury convicted appellant Jake Norwood of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and sentenced him as a habitual offender to ten years’ imprisonment. On appeal, appellant contends that the circuit court erred by: (1) admitting the crime-lab report over his objection; (2) denying his motion for directed verdict based on him knowingly and purposely possessing methamphetamine; and (3) denying his directed verdict motion based on the failure to allow confrontation of witnesses by not requiring Detective Sears to testify. We affirm. Officers with the Malvern Police Department made contact with appellant on February 28, 2020, after they were dispatched to 1708 Evans Street due to multiple 911 hang ups. Appellant appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance because he was fidgeting and continuously moving around. Appellant was searched, and a blue pouch was found in appellant’s left jacket pocket. The pouch contained a clear bag that had a crystal- like substance in it. Appellant was arrested and transferred to the Malvern Police Department. While there, the suspected drugs were found to weigh 0.9 grams and a field test was positive for methamphetamine. Appellant’s jury trial took place on May 28, 2021. Deputy Dillion Ledbetter testified that he arrested appellant on February 28, 2020, while working for the Malvern Police Department. He stated that when he arrived at the dispatched address, he saw appellant waving for him. He said that appellant seemed to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Appellant was subsequently patted down, and a blue pouch was found in appellant’s front left jacket pocket.1 Deputy Ledbetter stated that when he asked appellant if the pouch contained “dope,” appellant responded “yep.” He testified that the evidence was taken to the police station, weighed, and field tested. He stated that he placed the evidence in an envelope, filled out the chain-of-custody form on the envelope, and placed it in an evidence locker to be transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory. Deputy Ledbetter stated that only the “Chief of Police and the one CID detective” have access to the evidence locker. He subsequently identified his handwriting on the outside of the envelope. He stated that the drugs, along with the container it was in, weighed 0.9 grams. 1 Appellant was on parole and had a search waiver. 2 Detective Christopher Savage of the Malvern Police Department testified that he filled out the affidavit and built the case file in this case. He also stated that he would be the person who transports evidence to the crime lab if necessary. He said that the packing slip on the outside of the envelope would indicate the contents of the package, the date the evidence was …

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