Evans v. State
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
202 S.W.3d 158 (2006)
While surveilling a known drug-trafficking area, police arrested Terry Lee for a suspected drug sale, along with two other people riding in a van with her. Police recovered cocaine in the van and at the scene, and Lee told police they could find more drugs at the home of one of the van passengers, Cynthia Priestley. Priestley agreed to let officers search her home, and when they arrived to carry out the search, Oliver Evans (defendant), Priestley’s nephew, was in the home. Evans was sitting on a couch watching television and told police he believed they were there due to drugs when officers asked if he knew why they had arrived. Several bags of cocaine were sitting on top of a coffee table directly in front of Evans, with an estimated street value of $1,300. Police arrested Evans and searched the rest of the house, in which they found men’s and women’s clothing and mail addressed to Evans. They did not find more drugs but confiscated $160 from Evans’s pocket. Priestley told officers that the drugs belonged to her, not Evans. At trial, Evans’s ex-wife testified that Evans was unemployed and usually lived with her parents but was at Priestley’s house for a few days to check on Priestley because the home belonged to another family member and Priestley had a history of stealing items in the home for drug money. Evans was convicted of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and simple possession after a jury trial. He appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he had care, control, or management of the cocaine. The first appeals court agreed, reversing Evans’s conviction. The state (plaintiff) appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cochran, J.)
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