STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KEITH SALES - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Oct 18, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Blake D. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Keith Sales.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Chris Scruggs, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, Keith Sales, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for two counts of possession of 26 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell, two counts of possession of Alprazolam with intent to sell, and one count of possession of a handgun as a convicted felon. Appellant’s arrest was as the result of the execution of a search warrant based upon information provided by a confidential informant. Appellant filed a motion to suppress the evidence seized as a result of the search. The trial court denied the motion to suppress, and Appellant pled guilty reserving a certified question for appeal challenging the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress. Appellant pled guilty in a negotiated plea agreement to one count each of possession of 5 grams or more of cocaine, one count of possession of Alprazolam, and one count of possession of a handgun as a convicted felon. He received an effective nine-year sentence. On appeal, Appellant argues that the information set out in the affidavit does not meet the two prong test set out in Spinelli v. United States, 393 U.S. 410, 89 S. Ct. 584, 21 L. Ed.2d 637 (1969) and Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108, 84 S. Ct. 1509, 12 L. Ed.2d 723 (1964), (“Aguilar-Spinelli”), as adopted in State v. Jacumin, concerning the proof of the reliability of a confidential informant. We have reviewed the record on appeal, and conclude that the information supplied in the affidavit meets the Aguilar- Spinelli/Jacumin test. Therefore, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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