The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Poe on Thursday, October 11, 2012.
Jury Instruction—Evidence—Possession of Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia.
Defendant Alexander Poe appealed the judgment of conviction entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of possession of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The judgment was affirmed.
While Poe was out with a female friend, his parole officer and two other parole officers searched his apartment. They found drugs and drug paraphernalia. He returned during the search and was arrested.
On appeal, Poe contended that the trial court erred when it gave the jury an instruction with suggestions on how deliberations should be conducted. However, the court did not direct the jury to deliberate in a certain way. The court merely offered suggestions, which were given to facilitate the very same open and honest deliberation of which Poe now claims he was deprived. Therefore, the court did not abuse its discretion in offering suggestions to the jury to keep an open mind and reach a considered decision during final deliberations.
Poe also contended that the evidence presented to the jury was insufficient to convict him of the possession charges. The drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in Poe’s one-bedroom apartment, which he owned, and there was no evidence that any other person lived at the apartment or that Poe had a female houseguest as he claimed. Further, Poe’s parole conditions required him to request permission to have an overnight guest, and he had not made such a request. Although Poe had a female friend who claimed ownership of the illegal items, the evidence sufficiently supported the jury’s conclusion that the items found were under Poe’s dominion and control.
Summary and full case available here.