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Kohlmeier v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia
658 S.E.2d 261 (2008)


Facts

After a supermarket informed the county sheriff’s department that two customers had purchased a large number of matches, the sheriff’s department issued a lookout advisory to its officers regarding the truck described by the supermarket employee. A local officer noticed a truck matching the description at a nearby gas station. The officer pulled the vehicle over after the vehicle left the gas station, because it did not have a working tag light, as required by Georgia law. Nicholas Kohlmeier (defendant) was driving the vehicle. Kohlmeier had both a male and female passenger accompanying him. The two passengers matched the description of the customers from the supermarket. After a K-9 unit arrived on the scene of the traffic stop, officers discovered a box of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, two bottles of fuel treatment containing methanol, a camping stove, and a can of kerosene. Although no matches were discovered in the vehicle, another officer recovered a bag containing a large number of matchbooks on the road between the gas station and the traffic stop. A former narcotics agent explained that pseudoephedrine, methanol, and red phosphorus from the matchbooks are key items for methamphetamine production. Both Kohlmeier and his two passengers were arrested. After being placed in a patrol car and read his Miranda rights, Kohlmeier made a statement to his male passenger that the supermarket had likely informed police about the matchbooks. A device in the patrol car recorded this statement. In exchange for a negotiated guilty plea, the female passenger later informed authorities that the group had made methamphetamine several times before. The female passenger also explained that on the day of the arrest, Kohlmeier and the male passenger had plans to make more. The female passenger also claimed that Kohlmeier had acquired the two bottles of fuel treatment for that purpose. Kohlmeier was convicted of criminal attempt to manufacture methamphetamine, and he appealed on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Phipps, J.)

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