Steven EDMONDS a/k/a Steven Michael Edmonds a/k/a Steven M. Edmonds a/k/a Steve Edmonds, Appellant
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.
Rehearing Denied Nov. 12, 2013.
George T. Holmes, Jackson, Mollie Marie McMillin, Stacey Alan Spriggs, attorneys for appellant.
Office of the Attorney General by Scott Stuart, attorney for appellee.
Before IRVING, P.J., CARLTON and JAMES, JJ.
¶ 1. A DeSoto County grand jury indicted Steven Edmonds on the following charges: conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine (Count I) and manufacture of a controlled substance (Count II). Following a jury trial on January 23, 2012, Edmonds was convicted of the conspiracy in Count I. The trial court sentenced him to serve fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with five years of post-release supervision. The trial court also ordered Edmonds to pay a fine of $5,000. Edmonds now appeals, claiming that the State failed to prove the essential elements of the crime charged in the indictment and that the jury's verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.
¶ 2. Since the jury convicted Edmonds of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, as set forth in Count I of the indictment, we focus our appellate review upon this offense.
¶ 3. DeSoto County Sheriff's Department Investigator Danny Wilkey testified that on January 28, 2010, he worked surveillance on Apartment 7B of the Azalea Ridge Apartments in Walls, Mississippi, based on information the sheriff's department received about a possible methamphetamine lab at that location. During the surveillance, Investigator Wilkey, along with Lieutenant Jason Mitchell and Agent Joseph Force, observed Edmonds walk out of the apartment to a white truck. When the officers approached Edmonds, they immediately smelled a strong chemical odor on Edmonds's body.
¶ 4. Edmonds informed the officers that other people were inside the apartment, and the officers walked to the door of the apartment, which was still open. Through the open door, the officers smelled a strong, chemical odor and observed items related to the manufacture of methamphetamine, including lighter fluid, aluminum foil, and coffee filters. The officers entered the apartment, and found Tracey Cayer and Christopher Albritton asleep in a bed in one of the bedrooms. Concerned about contamination of the apartment due to the manufacturing process of the methamphetamine, the officers took Cayer and Albritton out of the apartment and brought them to the hospital for decontamination.
¶ 5. In the bedroom, Investigator Wilkey noticed an open duffle bag containing various items. Based on their observations inside of the apartment, the officers removed everyone from the apartment, secured it, and obtained a search warrant, which included permission to search Edmonds's truck and Albritton's truck.
¶ 6. A further search of the bedroom revealed a white plastic container with 156 dosage units of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient for making methamphetamine. In the duffle bag, the officers also found a coffee maker than had been cut in half to make a hot plate, along with bottles that had some sort of residue in them, digital scales, gloves, baggies, and a hair dryer. Investigator Wilkey testified that these items are used to manufacture methamphetamine. Edmonds admitted that the duffle bag belonged to him. The bedroom also contained a pressurized container marked " oxygen," and more coffee filters. The officers ...