Harmon v. State (Majority, with Dissenting)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for various drug and drug-related offenses and sentencing him to an aggregate term of forty years' imprisonment, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of the presence of filmmakers at the search of Defendant's residence.
When DEA officers and other law enforcement officers executed a warrant for the search of Defendant's home, they found drugs and drug paraphernalia. An HBO documentary film crew was present at the search under an agreement with law enforcement. The filmmakers did not participate in the search, nor did they include footage of the search in a documentary that later aired on HBO. On appeal from his convictions, Defendant argued, among other things, that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to order the State to obtain the HBO video footage of the search of Defendant's home and to identify the filmmakers who were present. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court (1) did not abuse its discretion in declining to order the State to obtain the video; (2) did not abuse its discretion in denying Defendant's request for a continuance; (3) did not abuse its discretion in granting the State's motion to exclude testimony about the film; and (4) erred in giving a nonmodel instruction, but the error was harmless.