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Sanders v. State

January 26, 1999

HARVEY SANDERS APPELLANT
v.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMILLIN, P.j.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/24/1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. FRANK G. VOLLOR

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WARREN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: POSSESSION OF COCAINE AS A SECOND OFFENDER, SENTENCED TO 6 YRS WITH THE MDOC

AFFIRMED

EN BANC.

¶1. A Warren County Circuit Court jury convicted Harvey Sanders of possession of cocaine. He appeals, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion for JNOV, or in the alternative, a new trial. We find the verdict to be supported by the evidence and affirm.

I. Facts

¶2. The Vicksburg Police Department established a roadblock to check such things as licenses, tags, and seat belts at the intersection of Harrison Street and Cherry Street in Vicksburg on July 27, 1995. Officer Glen Truesdell noticed a car traveling west on Harrison Street when the car turned left onto Cherry Street. The car then proceeded to drive into the one way entrance of the Mutual Credit Union. Truesdell then started walking toward the vehicle and it started backing up. The officer told the driver of the vehicle to stop, but the driver kept going. While the vehicle was backing up, the officer noticed the driver throw something from the window. The vehicle stopped when it hit a curb causing a tire to blow out. Truesdell reached in the driver's side of the vehicle, put the car in park, and pulled the keys out of the ignition. The officer asked the driver why he avoided the roadblock, and the driver, Harvey Sanders, replied that he did not have his driver's license.

¶3. About this time, Officer Jamie Brooks arrived, and Truesdell instructed Brooks to write Sanders a citation for not having his driver's license. While Brooks was writing this citation, Truesdell retrieved the item Sanders had thrown from the car. The item was discovered to be a cellophane bag filled with a substance that resembled crack cocaine. The officers placed Sanders under arrest for possession of a controlled substance.

¶4. The Mississippi Crime Lab confirmed that the recovered material was cocaine. A narcotics officer estimated the street value of the cocaine to be around $3,000.

¶5. The defense produced two witnesses to the event that took place that evening. Patricia Ross said that she and Tawanda Bush arrived at the roadblock at approximately 7:00 p.m. and remained at the scene for thirty to forty-five minutes. Both women testified that the windows of Sanders's vehicle remained closed throughout the incident and that neither of them saw him throw anything out the window. Ross stated that she saw Sanders, whom she knew as "Red," several days later. She approached Sanders and told him that she had read about the incident in the newspaper and what was written was not true. She stated that she told Sanders that she would testify for him because what is "right is right and wrong is wrong."

ΒΆ6. The jury, apparently accepting the State's version of events, found Sanders guilty of ...


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