CALL 205.538.3340

The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd Logo

AfterTheTrial.com... Because There’s Hope After the Trial

BLOG

After The Trial Blog

The After The Trial blog presents insights on ongoing and recent trials around the state of Alabama, including weekly criminal law round-ups.

Court of Criminal Appeal Releases from March 17, 2017

J.D. Lloyd - Monday, March 27, 2017

 

Keith v. State (CR-15-1319)

Keith pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance and first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana after police found drugs under the front seat of his car during an inventory search. Officers pulled Keith over when they ran his license plate and realized the tag didn’t match his car. When they ran Keith’s ID, they discovered he had outstanding warrants and placed him under arrest. His car was searched as an inventory search and the drugs were found inside. Keith moved to suppress on the grounds that the search was improper warrantless search.

REVERSED. The Court concluded that the State failed to show that inventory search was carried out “according to standard criteria and on the basis of something other than suspicion of criminal activity.” The Court focused on Ex parte Boyd, 542 So. 2d 1276 (Ala. 1989), where the Alabama Supreme Court concluded that an inventory search was not valid because there was no evidence that law enforcement carried out the search pursuant to policy. Here, the Court found the same deficiencies that the Boyd court found: conclusory statements regarding following inventory policy, a lack of an inventory list, no copy of the policy was presented, and no evidence the officer followed that policy. Judge Joiner wrote a lengthy dissent.

 

Thoughts: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Alabama Supreme Court take this issue up and ask for clarification for inventory searches andBoyd’s lasting effect. To me, inventory search precedent focuses on whether officers can show a search really was an administrative search and not a fishing expedition.

 

Sheffield v. State (CR-15-1467)

Sheffield was convicted of murder. He argued that he shot the victim in self-defense or by accident. At trial, the State introduced a recording of a heated phone conversation between the defendant and his wife, which was pretty damning to the defense -- she basically said he murdered the victim and didn’t act in self defense. Sheffield tried to invoke martial privilege to exclude the conversation, but the court allowed its introduction via Rule 804(b)(3) -- statements against interest. The State’s theory was that it was against the spouse’s interest for Sheffield to get convicted of murder.

REVERSED. The Court acknowledged that this was a question of first impression -- whether a declarant’s statements made against her spouse’s penal interest may also be considered against her own pecuniary or proprietary interest. In looking at Oregon case law, the Court concluded that the test as to whether a statement fits within the purview of Rule 804(b)(3) comes down to two central questions: (1) Was the declarant’s primary motive in making the statement to hurt or help her own interest; and (2) Was the risk to the declarant-spouse so great that the statements are inherently reliable? Here, the Court concluded the statements were not against Sheffield’s spouse’s interest (she wanted to divorce him), so they should not have been admitted under Rule 804(b)(3). Moreover, the Court concluded that this error wasn’t harmless given slight evidence presented surrounding the fatal moments.

 

Smith v. State (CR13-0055)

Smith was convicted of two counts of capital murder for a brutal kidnapping-murder/robbery-murder he carried out. At sentencing, the victim’s mother and sister testified that they believed the death penalty was an appropriate punishment for Smith. Smith argued on appeal that this testimony was improper.

CONVICTION AFFIRMED; SENTENCE VACATED. The Court concluded the victim’s family’s recommendations were improper victim impact statements regarding recommended sentences under Booth v. Maryland. The Court found these statements to be plain error and vacated the death sentence.

Thoughts: I’m not going to be surprised if this gets reversed by the AL SC saying that this error didn’t rise to the level of plain error. I could see the AL SC using Judge Windom’s dissent as a blue print for re-imposing Smith’s death sentence.

 

Legendre v. State (CR-16-0008)

Legendre was on probation and his PO filed a delinquency report alleging that he failed to report, left the state without permission, didn’t pay supervision fees, failed to pay court-ordered moneys, failed to report to CRO and failed to complete a court-ordered substance abuse program. At the hearing, the PO testified to trying to contact Legendre and how Legendre had missed meetings with her. In revoking, the court concluded that Legendre’s failure to report rose to the level of “absconding,” which allowed the court to fully revoke his probation. Legendre appealed claiming that he had not absconded.

AFFIRMED. The Court concluded that between his failure to report and his failure to communicate with the PO once she had contacted, the State presented sufficient evidence to prove that Legendre absconded and could be fully revoke.

 

Banville v. State (CR-15-1384)

The preclusive bar of Rule 32.2(d) does not bar a second Rule 32 petition if the first Rule 32 petition was based only upon Rule 32.1(f) -- a request to file an out-of-time appeal.

 

Campbell v. State (CR-15-1187)

Stoves v. State (CR-14-1687)

Both of these cases involved a reversal of one conviction on Double Jeopardy grounds (i.e., duplicate offenses), but an affirming of the remaining counts. Both are fact-intensive and not particularly noteworthy.

 

 

If you or someone you know has been convicted of wrongful criminal charges, there is hope after the trial. Contact us today by clicking HERE.



 

 


Recent Posts


Tags

Wesley Adam Whitworth felony assaults theft of property embezzlement domestic abuse edwards v arizona dora alabama making a murderer car accident drug busts court systems, SCOTUS, department of justice minor offenses Dylann Roof ake v oklahoma street racing parole tarrant alabama forced isolation hoax destructive devices attempted murder OJ Simpson levins v state eighth amendment, asia mcclain dekalb county alabama bessemer alabama clarence thomas church robberies eric sterling keith v state court of criminal appeal releases sarah koenig npr Guy Terrell Junior economic growth drug smuggling habeas corpus relief second amendment hanceville alabama john earle redfearn IV v state madison alabama avondale alabama betton v state social media adger alabama cherokee county alabama death penalty abuse Etowah County Alabama, home repair fraud § 13A-3-23 Mike Hubbard Kay Ivey pinson alabama oneonta alabama Xavier Beasley narcotics investigation Jefferson County Alabama shoplifting endangerment of a child Alabaster alabama West Alabama lauderdale county alabama terell corey mcmullin drug trafficking, mike gilotti sexual assault hurst v florida calhoun county alabama Pleasant Grove Alabama Justice Sotomayor theft capital offenses abandonment scotus debtor prison brian fredick lucas CCA update campbell v state gun control operation crackdown Stephen Breyer domestic violence negligent homicide LWOP Easter criminal justice reform, operation bullseye § 13A-3-23(d) immunity hearing alabama assault boaz alabama constitutional law, albertville alabama christian guitierez kidnapping texas brookside alabama Briarwood Presbyterian Church pruitt v state lethal injection moore v texas crime of passion capital punishment baltimore city circuit court state of arizona limestone county alabama kimberly alabama capital murder maryland court of special appeals fultondale alabama Walker County Alabama Thomas Hardiman fairfield alabama, bomb threat death penalty, Fentanyl stanley brent chapman huntsville shooting apprendi v new jersey baldwin county alabama warrantless blood draws Ingmire v State court of criminal appeals mcwilliams v dunn brendan dassey utah supreme court mount olive alabama judicial override burglary Donald Trump, marion county drug crimes robberies unlawful manufacturing aziz sayyed homicide rate OJ Simpson Made in America stoves v state bernard v north dakota Samuel Alito legende v state nicholas hawkins pell city alabama anniston alabama, department of justice, utah v strieff US Supreme Court Update greene county alabama south carolina battles v state christmas shooting tuscaloosa alabama Eutaw Alabama netflix fraudulent checks the mannequin challenge ring v arizona fort payne alabama illegal gambling ferguson missouri bailey v us mccalla alabama towles v state peyton pruitt jerry bohannon hall v florida William Pryor shooting death decatur alabama pelham alabama florence alabama montgomery alabama fourth amendment Sardis Alabama Glaze v State armed robbery steve avery fraud heflin alabama birmingham alabama huntsville alabama blount county alabama strickland v washington state of alabama morris alabama road rage Hillary Clinton, sentencing law and policy blog summaries abduction warrior alabama shelby county cullman alabama alabama supreme court alabama law enforcement agency aiding and abetting Adamsville alabama foley alabama Malone v State alabama criminal law roundup arson prostitution sting Shonda Walker, mobile alabama drug seizure benjamin todd acton eleventh circuit ruling sheffield v state Tracie Todd st clair county alabama Rule 32 concealed carry serial homicide editorial illegal gun carry debit card skimming scams animal cruelty brendan dassey, steve avery, making a murderer, scotus, netflix Benn v State Kareem Dacar Gaymon adnan syed, self defense talladega superspeedway Lucky D Arcade lethal injection drugs hurst mandamus breaking and entering Neil Gorsuch dothan alabama hoover alabama executions underage drinking lamar county Marengo County Alabama identity theft sixth amendment springville alabama gun rights Tommy Arthur russell calhoun morgan county alabama trussville alabama mountain brook alabama blountsville alabama constitutional violations implied consent Alonzo Ephraim murder ex parte briseno Woods v State banville v state eugene lee jones v state New York Times beylund v north dakota 2016 election, birchfield v north dakota drug possession, gadsden alabama alfonso morris midazolam rainbow city alabama smith v state kenneth eugene billups criminal justice heritage christian university brady v maryland public assistance fraud fake kidnapping, nathan woods Joshua Reese moving violations criminal mischief drug activity 28 U.S.C. § 2254 mulga alabama Gardendale Alabama

Archive

DISCLAIMER

These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among  other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Get Free Legal Advice  Contact us for a complimentary legal consultation

I am interested in scheduling a free legal consultation and receiving additional information.

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Thank you, your  entry has been  received.

© 2017 The Law Office of J.D. Lloyd, LLC. All Rights Reserved. |

 

As required by Rule 7.2(e), Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.