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Smith v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

February 15, 2018

MICHAEL LEE SMITH, Appellant,
v.
THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Appellee.

         AN APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF WAGONER COUNTY THE HONORABLE THOMAS H. ALFORD, DISTRICT JUDGE

          JOE PAUL ROBERTSON ERIC JOHNSON COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT

          JOSH KING JOY MOHOROVICIC ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS WAGONER COUNTY COURTHOUSE COUNSEL FOR THE STATE

          MARK P. HOOVER COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT

          MIKE HUNTER OKLAHOMA ATTORNEY GENERAL SHERI M. JOHNSON ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE

          SUMMARY OPINION

          HUDSON, JUDGE

         ¶1 Appellant, Michael Lee Smith, was tried by a jury in Wagoner County District Court, Case No. CF-2014-451, and convicted of Count II: Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance in the Presence of a Minor, After Former Conviction of Two or More Felonies, in violation of 63 O.S.Supp.2012, § 2-402 (C); and Count III: Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, in violation of 63 O.S.2011, § 2-405. [1] At the conclusion of second stage proceedings, the jury recommended Smith be sentenced to twelve (12) years imprisonment and a $2, 000.00 fine on Count II; and one (1) year in the county jail and a $1, 000.00 fine on Count III. The Honorable Thomas H. Alford, District Judge, sentenced Smith in accordance with the jury's verdict and ordered the sentences to be served concurrently. Smith now appeals, raising two (2) propositions of error before this Court:

I. THE TRIAL COURT'S DENIAL OF THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS WAS ERRONEOUS BECAUSE THE AFFIDAVIT USED TO OBTAIN THE SEARCH WARRANT WAS BASED ON UNRELIABLE AND UNTRUE INFORMATION; and
II. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT BIFURCATED THE MISDEMEANOR COUNT OF UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.

         ¶2 After thorough consideration of the entire record before us on appeal, including the original record, transcripts, exhibits and the parties' briefs, we find that no relief is required under the law and evidence and Appellant's judgment and sentence should be AFFIRMED.

         I.

         ¶3 Appellant contends the trial court's refusal to suppress the evidence seized from his home was error. We review the trial court's ruling for an abuse of discretion. Johnson v. State, 2012 OK CR 5, ¶ 11, 272 P.3d 720, 726. "An abuse of discretion is a clearly erroneous conclusion and judgment, one that is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts presented." Martinez v. State, 2016 OK CR 3, ¶ 39, 371 P.3d 1100, 1112, cert. denied, Martinez v. Oklahoma, 137 S.Ct. 386, 196 L.Ed.2d 304 (2016). "When reviewing a trial court's denial of a motion to suppress evidence, we accept its factual findings unless those findings are clearly erroneous and view the evidence in the light most favorable to the State." Coffia v. State, 2008 OK CR 24, ¶ 5, 191 P.3d 594, 596; Seabolt v. State, 2006 OK CR 50, ¶ 5, 152 P.3d 235, 237. "The ultimate conclusion drawn from those facts of whether a search or seizure is unreasonable is a question of law we review de novo." Seabolt, 2006 OK CR 50');">2006 OK CR 50, ¶ 5, 152 P.3d at 237.

         ¶4 As was similarly argued below to the district court, Appellant specifically asserts the affidavit was not sufficient to conclude probable cause for a search existed. Appellant maintains the supporting affidavit was "full of conclusions instead of facts." In making this argument, Appellant dissects the affidavit paragraph by paragraph, individually challenging the information contained therein. Appellant further asserts the affidavit contained a false statement.

         ¶5 Appellant's method of evaluating the facts contained in the affidavit in isolation is contrary to this Court's totality of the circumstances approach for evaluating the sufficiency of a search warrant affidavit. See Marshall v. State, 2010 OK CR 8, ¶ 49, 232 P.3d 467, 479 ("In evaluating the sufficiency of an affidavit for a search warrant, this Court looks to the totality of the circumstances."); Andrews v. State, 2007 OK CR 30, ¶ 8, 166 P.3d 495, 497 (same). Under the totality of the circumstances approach, "[t]he task of the issuing magistrate is simply to make a practical, common-sense decision whether, given all the circumstances set forth in the affidavit before him, including the 'veracity' and 'basis of knowledge' of persons supplying hearsay information, there is a fair probability that contraband or evidence of a crime will be found in a particular place." Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 238, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 2332, 76 L.Ed.2d 527 (1983). For there to be a valid finding of probable cause, the affidavit must set forth enough underlying facts and circumstances to enable the magistrate to independently judge the affiant's conclusion that evidence of the crime is located where the affiant says it is. Marshall, 2010 OK CR 8, ΒΆ 49, 232 P.3d at 479. Our duty as a reviewing court, therefore, is "simply to ensure that the ...


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