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Leyva v. State
Wyoming Supreme Court
165 P.3d 446 (2007)
Kelly King called the police to report a stolen television. When the police arrived at King’s apartment complex, they saw a television in a car and confirmed that it was the missing television. Later, Keith Leyva (defendant) and a woman got in the car and were detained by the police. Leyva was arrested on an outstanding warrant and searched. In the pockets of Leyva’s pants, the officer found a knife, a pipe with marijuana residue, and a bag with methamphetamine residue. Leyva denied owning the pipe. Leyva claimed that he had borrowed the television and the pants from King that morning and that the pipe must have been in the pocket when he borrowed the pants. Leyva admitted that the knife was his. However, Leyva claimed that he had put the knife in his pants pocket the night before, which did not match up with his earlier claim that he had borrowed the pants from King that morning (with the pipe supposedly already in the pocket). Leyva was charged with stealing the television and illegally possessing the methamphetamine residue. At trial, evidence of the marijuana pipe was admitted as part of the overall evidence that Leyva had provided inconsistent statements about whether he had borrowed the pants. These inconsistent statements were used as evidence that Leyva might not have told the truth about borrowing the television. Leyva was convicted on both charges. Leyva appealed, arguing that the marijuana-pipe evidence should have been excluded as inadmissible evidence of other bad conduct.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Burke, J.)
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