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Wells v. Commonwealth

347 S.E.2d 139 (1986)

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Wells v. Commonwealth

Virginia Court of Appeals

347 S.E.2d 139 (1986)

Facts

The Commonwealth of Virginia (plaintiff) prosecuted Ruth Ellen Wells (defendant) for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The trial evidence established that police arrested Wells at her friend's apartment, where Wells was a regular visitor. Wells admitted to possessing 4.2 ounces of marijuana contained in 70 small packages and worth $700. Police did not find unusual amounts of money or drug paraphernalia in Wells's possession or in the apartment. Wells's friend testified that she did not know the marijuana was in the apartment. A police officer testified that the mode of packaging the marijuana was consistent with packaging for distribution, but that the quantity of marijuana in Wells's possession was not totally inconsistent with personal use over a period of time. The jury convicted Wells. On appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals, Wells argued that the prosecution failed to prove that she intended to distribute the marijuana. The commonwealth relied on Colbert v. Commonwealth, 244 S.E.2d (1978), to rebut Wells' argument.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Koontz, C.J.)

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