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Scott v. State

March 24, 1998

SCOTT
v.
STATE



Before McMILLIN, P.j., Herring, And Hinkebein, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herring, J

LAMAR SCOTT A/K/A LAMAR DESHAWN SCOTT AND LESLIE B. HENDERSON, III A/K/A LESLIE BUCHANNAN HENDERSON, III A/K/A TREY HENDERSON A/K/A "TREY", APPELLANTS v. STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/24/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LARRY EUGENE ROBERTS

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: KEMPER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: HENDERSON & SCOTT: DELIVERY OF COCAINE: HENDERSON: 8 YRS; $10,000 FINE; $100 RESTITUTION FOR BUY MONEY; ONE HALF COURT COSTS SCOTT: 4 YRS; $2,500 FINE

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 3/24/98

Lamar Scott and Leslie "Trey"Henderson were convicted of the illegal sale of cocaine in violation of Miss. Code Ann. § 41-29-139 (Rev. 1993). They now appeal their conviction to this Court. Scott was convicted as an accessory before the fact, and Henderson was convicted solely as the principal actor in the crime. Scott now contends that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction and that the State improperly commented on his right not to testify. Henderson contends that the trial court improperly refused to grant his motion for a continuance, based upon the fact that the State failed to disclose to him the name of a confidential informant who was an eyewitness to the crime. We affirm for the reasons stated in this opinion.

A. THE FACTS

On April 14, 1995, agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics arranged for a series of covert drug operations in an effort to apprehend local area drug dealers. Through a confidential informant, law enforcement officers were alerted that the Appellants, Scott and Henderson, were involved in the drug trade. Thus, Jimmy Nichols, an undercover agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and a confidential informant were instructed to seek out the Appellants and attempt to buy drugs from them. On April 14, 1995, Agent Nichols and the informant met with the surveillance members of a field bureau of narcotics unit and prepared for the drug buy. On that same day, they traveled to the County Line Grocery in Kemper County where the informant made a telephone call to Lamar Scott. Thereafter, they traveled to a general store in the Preston Community where they met with Scott. At trial, Nichols identified the Appellant, Lamar Scott, as the man with whom they met in front of the store in Preston. On the day in question, Scott told Nichols and the informant that he did not know where "Trey" was, but that he "had everything." Scott got into the backseat of the automobile in which Nichols and the informant were traveling, and the three of them drove away. Shortly thereafter, Scott asked Nichols and the informant to return to the Preston General Store because Scott lost his "stuff." When they returned to the store, Scott got out of the vehicle and made a telephone call from a nearby pay telephone. A few minutes later, Scott informed Nichols and the informant that they should drive to a nearby dead-end road where "Trey" would be waiting for them. The informant and Nichols followed Scott's directions to the dead-end road, where they encountered a brown Lincoln Town Car with Trey Henderson sitting in the driver's seat. Henderson approached the vehicle in which Nichols and the informant were sitting and produced several rocks of what was later determined to be crack cocaine. Nichols then counted out $100 in United States currency and exchanged it for the cocaine. After the sale took place, Henderson left the scene in his vehicle, but Agent Nichols was able to record Henderson's vehicle license tag number for future reference. Agent Nichols was also equipped with a audio transmitter on the evening in question, and the transaction was tape recorded by transmitter. The tape recording was played later for the jury at trial.

Neither Henderson nor Scott were arrested on the night of the drug transaction, nor were they taken into custody until approximately one month later, apparently in an attempt by law enforcement ...


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