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ELROY EARL SAYRE v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

OCTOBER 26, 1988

ELROY EARL SAYRE
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI



EN BANC

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

I.

Today's appeal is by one convicted of selling marijuana. A single question has been presented: did the Circuit Court err when it allowed the prosecution to produce against the accused evidence regarding the accused's uncharged, unconvicted trafficking in marijuana prior to this offense. Because the defendant had offered an entrapment defense, and thus placed his predisposition in issue, we find no error and affirm.

 II.

 Elroy Earl Sayre, 50 years old, had been living in Jackson County since 1957. On October 4, 1984, he sold 890 grams of marijuana to David Jackson, an agent for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, for $1,800.

 On the afternoon in question, Jackson went to the trailer where Sayre lived shortly after 2:00 p.m. Jackson and Sayre knew one another, and Jackson told Sayre he wanted to purchase two pounds of marijuana. Sayre replied he only had one pound and it would take a while to get the other pound.

 The two left the trailer. Sayre got in his car (a grey-black Camaro) and Jackson followed in his car to the "Country Curb" Store. After the cars were parked, Sayre went to a telephone and, a few minutes following a telephone conversation, another car drove up beside Sayre. Jackson saw Sayre hand money to an individual in the other car. Sayre then returned and told Jackson to meet him at his (Sayre's) place on the river in 15 to 20 minutes.

 Jackson went to the river trailer (after advising fellow officers by radio of the rendezvous) and met Sayre there. Sayre had some small scales and weighed the marijuana. They discussed making additional purchases, and if so, Sayre would cut the price some.

 On cross-examination defense counsel asked Agent Jackson if he knew a man named Paul Slaughter, and Jackson said he did not know him, but he had heard of him. Jackson testified Slaughter was not a confidential informant for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and as far as he knew did not work for any other state or county agency. Jackson said Slaughter was not involved in any way in the marijuana purchase from Sayre. All of this was prelude to Sayre's defense that he was entrapped.

 Sayre testified in his own behalf. He stated that the marijuana he sold to Jackson was furnished him by Slaughter. He further testified that Slaughter was a confidential informant, and that he knew this because when he was arraigned on another charge, Slaughter was named as an agent for the State. He "believed" Slaughter was employed by the State or the police department.

 On cross-examination Sayre admitted he had sold marijuana and would deal with Slaughter. Over defense objections, Sayre acknowledged on cross-examination that he and Slaughter had begun dealing in marijuana in August of 1984, and that before that time he had engaged in selling marijuana. Again over objection, Sayre on cross-examination admitted to making sales of marijuana as far back as February, 1984. Sayre testified he could not remember the name of the man with whom he talked at the Country Curb Store. Sayre admitted he had no idea who Slaughter was a confidential informant for but based his belief on the fact the name was on another charge against him.

 The defense called Mike Byrd, an employee of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, who had previously been a policeman in Moss Point. Byrd testified he knew Slaughter,

 but that he knew nothing of Slaughter having anything to do with the sale to Sayre.

 The Circuit Court held that Sayre was entitled to have the issue of entrapment submitted to the jury and granted instructions on the general law of entrapment. The defense requested no instruction, however, on the specific question of whether marijuana sold by ...


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