Before Bridges, C.j., Payne, And Southwick, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bridges, C.j.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/24/1997
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN M. MONTGOMERY
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: CLAY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - FELONY
TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: CONVICTED OF POSSESSION OF MORE THAN ONE OUNCE BUT LESS THAN ONE KILOGRAM OF MARIJUANA; SENTENCED TO TERM OF 3 YRS. WITH 2 SUSPENDED.
DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 2/9/99
MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:
¶1. Henry Collins was convicted of possession of marijuana in the Circuit Court of Clay County on July 24, 1997. He appeals, asserting that the trial court: 1) should not have allowed the State to "impeach" his credibility by producing evidence that he had been charged with simple assault in 1988, 2) should have allowed him to impeach Eugene Circus's credibility by introducing evidence of a prior conviction for possessing cocaine, 3) and should have declared a mistrial because of the Clay County Sheriff's contact with a juror.
¶2. On December 1, 1996, at around midnight, Collins was driving home alone in his car after drinking beer with a friend after work. A sheriff's deputy, Jennings, observed the car swerving, so he made a traffic stop and saw Collins holding a can of beer between his legs. No charges arose from Collins's alcohol consumption because Collins was not intoxicated and there was no prohibition on open containers in vehicles at the time of Collins's arrest.
¶3. However, Jennings smelled the scent of un-smoked marijuana as he approached the car. He searched the car and found two bags of marijuana as well as a separate small package of processed marijuana and cigarette papers. At trial, Collins's defense was that the marijuana was not his, and it had either been "planted" by Jennings or ...