Andy DeWayne Posey v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 108th District Court of Potter CountyAnnotate this Case
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SEVENTH DISTRICT OF TEXAS
MAY 5, 2010
ANDY DEWAYNE POSEY, APPELLANT
THE STATE OF TEXAS, APPELLEE
FROM THE 108TH DISTRICT COURT OF POTTER COUNTY;
NO. 53,792-E; HONORABLE ABE LOPEZ, JUDGE
Before CAMPBELL and HANCOCK and PIRTLE, JJ.
Appellant, Andy Dewayne Posey, was convicted by a jury of the lesser-included
offense of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, of four grams or
more but less than 200 grams1 in a drug-free zone.2 The jury sentenced appellant to
confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division (TDCJID) for a period of 40 years. Appellant appeals the judgment and sentence, contending
See TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 481.115(d) (Vernon 2009).
See TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 481.134(c)(1) (Vernon 2009).
that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the conviction. We
Factual and Procedural Background
On June 8, 2006, deputies of the Randall County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by a
SWAT3 team from the Amarillo Police Department, executed a search warrant at
appellant’s home, 609 S. Forest, Amarillo, Texas.4
The SWAT team entered the
residence first going through an unlocked front door. Upon entering the home, officers
found appellant sitting at a desk in the kitchen. After all occupants of the home were
located and secured, a search of the residence was conducted. While searching the
area immediately around appellant, a plastic zip lock type bag containing what
appeared to be methamphetamine was located within four or five inches of his feet.
Located on the desk where appellant was sitting was a set of digital scales. A number
of small baggies, with the corners cut out, were found in the same area where appellant
Testimony at trial indicated that methamphetamine was often sold in
baggies with the corners cut out and was indicative of drug trafficking transactions.
Appellant had $734 in cash with him in small ($5.00, $10.00 and $20.00) denomination
During the trial, officers testified that methamphetamine sales to individuals
generally involved smaller denomination bills. While executing the search warrant, two
police scanners were located in a truck parked in front of appellant’s home. In the
Special Weapons And Tactics
The home was located within the city limits of Amarillo, Potter County, Texas.
Therefore, the Amarillo Police Department was asked to assist in the serving of the
kitchen area, officers found a list of frequencies for various public service agency radios,
with many of the law enforcement frequencies highlighted, and a list of 10 code call
Testimony revealed that the 10 code call signs were the shorthand type of
messages officers sent over the air while communicating on the radio.
Appellant was indicted for the offense of possession, with intent to deliver, a
controlled substance, methamphetamine, in an amount of four grams or more but less
than 200 grams. The indictment further alleged that the possession was in a drug-free
At trial, a representative of the Department of Public Safety Crime Lab testified
that the substance seized from appellant’s home was methamphetamine and weighed
Additionally, the officer who was in charge of executing the search
warrant testified that appellant’s home was located 441 feet from Sam Houston Middle
After the State rested its case-in-chief, appellant presented witnesses who
testified that they had been in appellant’s home before the execution of the search
Both witnesses denied seeing any of the methamphetamine or drug
paraphernalia found in the home.
The court’s charge asked the jury to consider the evidence on the indicted
offense of possession with intent to deliver and the lesser-included offense of
The court’s charge also contained a paragraph requiring the jury to
determine whether either of the offenses occurred in a drug-free zone.
The jury convicted appellant of the lesser-included offense of possession of
methamphetamine, in an amount of four grams or more but less than 200 grams in a
drug-free zone and sentenced him to serve a term of 40 years confinement in the
Appellant appeals alleging that the evidence was legally and factually
insufficient to link him to the methamphetamine found in the residence. We affirm the
Standard of Review
Appellant challenges both the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence.
Therefore, we are required to conduct an analysis of the legal sufficiency of the
evidence first, and then, only if we find the evidence to be legally sufficient, do we
analyze the factual sufficiency of the evidence. See Clewis v. State, 922 S.W.2d 126,
133 (Tex.Crim.App. 1996).
In assessing the legal sufficiency of the evidence, we review all the evidence in
the light most favorable to the verdict to determine whether any rational trier of fact
could have found the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979); Ross v.
State, 133 S.W.3d 618, 620 (Tex.Crim.App. 2004). In conducting a legal sufficiency
review, an appellate court may not sit as a thirteenth juror, but rather must uphold the
jury’s verdict unless it is irrational or unsupported by more than a mere modicum of
evidence. Moreno v. State, 755 S.W.2d 866, 867 (Tex.Crim.App. 1988). We measure
the legal sufficiency of the evidence against a hypothetically correct jury charge. See
Malik v. State, 953 S.W.2d 234, 240 (Tex.Crim.App. 1997).
When an appellant challenges the factual sufficiency of the evidence supporting
his conviction, the reviewing court must determine whether, considering all the evidence
in a neutral light, the jury was rationally justified in finding the appellant guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. See Watson v. State, 204 S.W.3d 404, 415 (Tex.Crim.App. 2006).
In performing a factual sufficiency review, we must give deference to the fact finder’s
determinations if supported by evidence and may not order a new trial simply because
we may disagree with the verdict. See id. at 417. As an appellate court, we are not
justified in ordering a new trial unless there is some objective basis in the record
demonstrating that the great weight and preponderance of the evidence contradicts the
jury’s verdict. See id. Additionally, an appellate opinion addressing factual sufficiency
must include a discussion of the most important evidence that appellant claims
undermines the jury’s verdict. Sims v. State, 99 S.W.3d 600, 603 (Tex.Crim.App. 2003).
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has recently declared that, when reviewing the
evidence for factual sufficiency, the reviewing court should measure the evidence in a
neutral manner against a “hypothetically correct jury charge.”
Vega v. State, 267
S.W.3d 912, 915 (Tex.Crim.App. 2008) (citing Wooley v. State, 273 S.W.3d 260, 268
Appellant contends that the State failed to present legally sufficient evidence
linking him to the methamphetamine. To prove appellant guilty of the indicted offense,
the State had to prove: 1) appellant; 2) intentionally or knowingly; 3) possessed; 4) a
controlled substance, methamphetamine; 5) in an amount of four grams or more but
less than 200 grams. See TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 481.115(d). Possession
means the actual care, custody, control, or management of the methamphetamine in
See id. § 481.002(38) (Vernon Supp. 2009).
To prove that appellant
possessed the methamphetamine in question, the State must prove that: 1) the accused
exercised control, management, or care over the substance; and 2) the accused knew
the matter possessed was contraband. See Poindexter v. State, 153 S.W.3d 402, 405
The evidence establishing possession may be direct or
circumstantial; however, it must establish that appellant’s connection to the
methamphetamine was more than just fortuitous. Id. at 405-06.
There must be
evidence, other than presence alone, that would lead the fact finder to rationally
conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant exercised care, custody, control, or
management of the methamphetamine. See Evans v. State, 202 S.W.3d 158, 162
In Evans, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals set forth a list of links that had
been recognized by Texas courts.
Id. at 162 n.12.
includes the following:
The list is non-exclusive and
1) the defendant’s presence when a search is conducted; 2) whether the
contraband was in plain view; 3) the defendant’s proximity to and the
accessibility of the narcotic; 4) whether the defendant was under the
influence of narcotics when arrested; 5) whether the defendant possessed
other contraband or narcotics when arrested; 6) whether the defendant
made incriminating statements when arrested; 7) whether the defendant
attempted to flee; 8) whether the defendant made furtive gestures; 9)
whether there was an odor of contraband; 10) whether other contraband
or drug paraphernalia were present; 11) whether the defendant owned or
had the right to possess the place where the drugs were found; 12)
whether the place where the drugs were found was enclosed; 13) whether
the defendant was found with a large amount of cash; and 14) whether the
conduct of the defendant indicated a consciousness of guilt.
Id. It is not the number of links found to be present that is ultimately important; rather, it
is the logical force of all of the evidence, both direct and circumstantial. Id. at 162.
When we apply the various links set forth in Evans, the following links connecting
appellant to the methamphetamine are established in the record.
methamphetamine was located within a few inches of where appellant sat in a chair. Id.
Although the initial-entry officers admitted they did not see the methamphetamine, they
all testified that they were looking for people because they were concerned, at that
particular moment, about officer safety. The first officer who went into the kitchen area,
where appellant had been seated, for the purposes of searching for contraband
immediately observed the bag that contained the methamphetamine. If not in plain
view, the methamphetamine was certainly not hidden where appellant could not see it.
Next, the evidence at trial reflects that appellant was the occupier of the residence and
had authority to be where the methamphetamine was found.
Also, the record
reflects that appellant had immediate access to the drugs and, as explained above, was
in very close proximity to the methamphetamine. Id. Further, the record shows that
appellant was in possession of a significant amount of cash and that the denominations
possessed were consistent with someone who might be dealing in drugs.
Significantly, there was additional drug paraphernalia found during the search, and a
significant amount of it was in plain view in the area around appellant. Id. Finally, for
purposes of the possession element, when the police first entered the house and gave
instructions to appellant, he appeared to ignore them and made what one officer stated
were furtive gestures toward the area where the methamphetamine was subsequently
Based upon the facts recited above, we cannot say that a jury acted irrationally in
finding appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the lesser-included possession
offense. Having determined that the jury decision was not irrational, we conclude the
evidence was legally sufficient to sustain the verdict, and we overrule appellant’s first
We next review the evidence in a neutral manner to determine whether the jury
was rationally justified in finding appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Watson,
204 S.W.3d at 415. When making a factual sufficiency review, we are mindful that the
jury has already passed on the evidence, and its conclusions are entitled to deference
when supported by the evidence. Id. at 417. Further, we cannot simply supplant the
jury’s verdict because we might disagree with it; rather, we must be able to state with
particularity where the deficiency in the evidence to support the jury’s determination
Appellant again points to a lack of links to tie appellant to the methamphetamine.
Further, according to appellant, there are a number of links that tied appellant’s wife,
Kimi, to the methamphetamine. Finally, appellant contends that the testimony of the
witnesses he called established that at least two other people were in the house before
the search warrant was executed. Appellant then contends that it is significant that the
jury did not convict appellant on the possession with intent to deliver charge, opting
instead to convict appellant of possession alone. According to appellant’s theory, this is
significant because it means that the jury did not believe any of the evidence that might
tend to prove possession. For these reasons, appellant contends that the evidence was
factually insufficient. See Sims, 99 S.W.3d at 603.
Appellant’s contentions regarding the jury’s decision to convict on the lesser
included charge of simple possession do not alter the conclusion that the evidence, as
recited above, when considered in a neutral light, is still sufficient to allow a rational jury
to find appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of possession of methamphetamine.
See Watson, 204 S.W.3d at 415.
Regarding the contentions that appellant has put forth that should undermine our
confidence in the jury’s verdict, we initially note that the fact that the evidence might be
viewed to link Kimi to the methamphetamine does nothing to lessen the linking of
appellant to the same drugs. See Taylor v. State, Nos. 07-08-00205-CR, 07-08-00206CR, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 2024, at *8 (Tex.App.—Amarillo March 22, 2010, no pet. h.)
(“It is not necessary for the State to prove [appellant] maintained exclusive possession
of the contraband,” (citing Cude v. State, 716 S.W.2d 46, 47 (Tex.Crim.App. 1986))).
Next, considering appellant’s contention regarding the testimony that two other people
were in the home shortly before the search warrant was executed, we note that the jury
heard this evidence and, apparently, by its verdict, rejected it. We must treat the jury’s
findings, implied or otherwise, with deference for it is within its province to resolve
conflicts in the testimony. Watson, 204 S.W.3d at 417. When we analyze the evidence,
giving due deference to the jury’s determination, we are left with the conclusion that the
jury was justified in finding appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Id. at 415.
Accordingly, we overrule appellant’s second issue.
Having overruled appellant’s issues, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Mackey K. Hancock
Do not publish.