The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Taylor on June 7, 2012.
Conspiracy to Distribute—Unlawful Search—Challenge for Cause—Entrapment Instruction—Affirmative Defense.
Defendant appealed the judgment of conviction entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of conspiracy to distribute a schedule II controlled substance. The judgment was affirmed.
Defendant was approached by undercover officers to sell them drugs. Defendant indicated that he did not have any drugs, but he could call someone who did. After defendant made a phone call, a woman showed up and sold the undercover officers $40 of crack cocaine. Both the woman and defendant were arrested, and defendant’s cell phone was seized.
Defendant contended that he was subject to an unlawful search when the police reviewed his cellular telephone’s call log without obtaining a warrant. A search of the contents of a defendant’s cellular telephone or other personal electronic device is a lawful search incident to arrest. Therefore, the search of defendant’s cell phone’s call history was a lawful search incident to arrest, and the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s suppression motion.
Defendant next contended that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his challenge for cause to a prospective juror. After Juror J indicated that he would find defendant guilty based on no evidence, defense counsel challenged Juror J and a second juror for cause, which was denied. The trial court, however, explained the presumption of innocence to the jurors, and the two jurors in question indicated that they could follow the court’s instructions. Therefore, the trial court did not err in denying the challenges for cause.
Defendant further contended that the trial court erred in denying his tendered entrapment instruction based on its conclusion that defendant could not plead the affirmative defense of entrapment because he denied committing the crime. Under Colorado law, entrapment is an affirmative defense. Therefore, a defendant’s denial of wrongdoing precludes an entrapment instruction. Furthermore, the evidence here failed to support such an instruction.
Summary and full case available here.