JEFFERY CANTRELL A/K/A JEFFERY DALE CANTRELL A/K/A JEFFREY CANTRELL A/K/A JEFF CANTRELL APPELLANT
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 05/20/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT HON. CHARLES
E. WEBSTER TRIAL JUDGE.
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: OFFICE OF STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER BY:
BENJAMIN ALLEN SUBER
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL BY:
LAURA HOGAN TEDDER
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: BRENDA FAY MITCHELL
LEE, C.J., BARNES AND CARLTON, JJ.
Jeffrey Cantrell appeals his conviction for possession of
methamphetamine and sentence, as a habitual offender, of six
years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of
Corrections (MDOC), without eligibility for parole or
probation. On appeal, Cantrell asserts that the jury verdict
was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, and as a
result, he is entitled to a new trial. Finding no abuse of
discretion, we affirm Cantrell's conviction and sentence.
On January 13, 2015, Officer Stanley Perry of the Cleveland
Police Department received a call regarding a suspicious
vehicle located behind a house in Cleveland, Mississippi.
Upon arriving at the address, a woman exited the residence
and informed Officer Perry that a blue truck was parked
behind the house.
As Officer Perry approached the truck, he shined his
flashlight and could "clearly" observe Cantrell
coming from the side of the house and walking toward the blue
truck. Officer Perry testified that he tried to approach
Cantrell, but Cantrell "was trying to elude [him] or get
away from [him]." Officer Perry testified that he then
observed two more people inside of the truck, so he drew his
gun and ordered the two passengers and Cantrell to put their
hands in the air. Officer Perry stated that at that time,
Cantrell reached into his right pants pocket, removed
something, and threw it on the ground. Officer Perry
maintained his attention on Cantrell and the two passengers
in the truck and radioed for backup.
Several other police officers arrived on the scene in
response to Officer Perry's call for backup, including
Officer Joe Smith. After Officer Smith arrived, Officer Perry
directed him to remove two passengers from the truck while
Officer Perry handcuffed Cantrell. Officer Perry informed
Officer Smith that Cantrell had removed an item from his
pants pocket and thrown it onto the ground approximately six
to ten feet away from the truck.
Officers Smith and Perry searched the area where Officer
Perry observed Cantrell throw the item from his pocket. The
officers found two syringes, one of which contained a clear
substance. Officer Perry testified that he also found a
screwdriver with fresh paint on it located approximately
twenty feet from the vehicle and approximately twenty-four
feet away from the syringes.
After finding the syringes, Officer Perry called Officer
Michael Melton, a narcotics officer, who arrived at the scene
and collected the syringes. Officer Melton testified that he
placed the syringes in evidence packaging and conducted a
field test on the syringe that contained a crystalline
substance. Officer Melton testified that the field test
returned a positive result for methamphetamine, so Officer
Melton sent that syringe to the crime lab for further