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Riley v. State

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 3, 2013

Alvin Renon RILEY a/k/a Alvin Riley, Appellant
v.
STATE of Mississippi, Appellee.

Page 1008

W. Terrell Stubbs, attorney for appellant.

Office of the Attorney General by Laura Hogan Tedder, attorney for appellee.

Before LEE, C.J., BARNES, MAXWELL and FAIR, JJ.

BARNES, J.

¶ 1. A Walthall County Circuit Court jury convicted Alvin Renon Riley of the sale of less than one hundred dosage units of hydrocodone. He was sentenced to fifteen years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with six years to serve and the remaining nine years to be suspended for post-release supervision. The trial court denied Riley's post-trial motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), or in the alternative, a new trial. Finding no error, we affirm the circuit court's judgment on appeal.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶ 2. On March 23, 2010, a confidential informant, Michelle Brown, made an undercover purchase of narcotics from Riley. The Southwest Narcotics Enforcement Unit of Walthall County had given Brown $60 to make the controlled buy, and followed her to Riley's house. Agent Dan Hawn activated the electronic recording device worn by Brown and monitored the situation. Agent Hawn heard the transaction take place and heard Riley say, " $60, that would be 12 pills[,] ... five, six...." He also heard the sound of pills rattling in a bottle. Law enforcement met Brown at a pre-arranged location and took custody of the drugs— twelve dosage units of hydrocodone— for analysis.

¶ 3. Riley was indicted on July 19, 2010, for " willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly sell[ing] less than one hundred

Page 1009

(100) dosage units of hydrocodone, a controlled substance, to one confidential informant, for money ... in violation of [Mississippi Code Annotated s]ection 41-29-139 [.]" After a two-day jury trial, Riley was convicted, sentenced to fifteen years in the custody of the MDOC; and ordered to serve the first six years with the remaining nine years suspended for post-release supervision. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and court costs, and to undergo drug treatment. Riley filed a motion for a JNOV or, in the alternative, a new trial. The trial court denied the motion, and Riley now appeals.

¶ 4. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment.

ANALYSIS

I. Whether the trial court erred by admitting a video and audio recording into evidence.

¶ 5. During Agent Hawn's testimony, the State introduced the audio and video recording of the controlled drug buy. Defense counsel objected to the evidence of the recording, claiming that it was hearsay on the part of Agent Hawn, and that there was not a ...


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