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Kier v. State
Georgia Court of Appeals
292 Ga. App. 208, 663 S.E.2d 832 (2008)
Sergeant Zack Tanner, an officer with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department, conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that he observed driving at low speeds with its emergency lights turned on. Although Tanner originally stopped the vehicle to offer the driver assistance, upon approaching the driver’s vehicle Tanner observed smoke and recognized the scent of marijuana. The vehicle was owned and driven by Cory Dixon, and there were three other passengers: Chiquita Baker, Lavashiae Kier (defendant), and a juvenile. Kier was sitting behind Dixon. While looking for marijuana in the vehicle, Tanner found a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette, which had been recently smoked, on the floorboard behind the center console. Tanner also found a bag containing 16 rocks of crack cocaine in the driver’s door. Tanner arrested all four passengers. Kier was charged with possession of marijuana. At Kier’s trial, Baker testified that, on the evening of the arrest, Baker and Kier were at a nightclub. Baker claimed that she asked Dixon, an acquaintance from school, to drive Baker and Kier home. Baker testified that Dixon and the juvenile passenger had been smoking the marijuana cigarette, Kier did not smoke the cigarette, and Baker did not see Kier in possession of marijuana that evening. Kier was convicted of possession of marijuana and appealed on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to support the conviction.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)
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