574 S.E.2d 590 (Ga.App. 2002), A02A1064, Bain v. State

Docket Nº:A02A1064.
Citation:574 S.E.2d 590, 258 Ga.App. 440
Opinion Judge:BARNES, Judge
Party Name:BAIN v. The STATE.
Attorney:Herbert Shafer, Atlanta, for appellant., Philip C. Smith, Dist. Atty., Rand J. Csehy, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee. Herbert Shafer, for appellant. Philip C. Smith, District Attorney, Rand J. Csehy, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.
Case Date:November 19, 2002
Court:Court of Appeals of Georgia

Page 590

574 S.E.2d 590 (Ga.App. 2002)

258 Ga.App. 440




No. A02A1064.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

November 19, 2002.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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[258 Ga.App. 446] Herbert Shafer, Atlanta, for appellant.

Philip C. Smith, Dist. Atty., Rand J. Csehy, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.

BARNES, Judge.

After methamphetamine was found during a search of his car, Mark C. Bain was indicted for conspiracy to commit a crime, trafficking in methamphetamine, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and possession of a destructive device. Later, he moved to suppress evidence of the drugs, contending they were seized during an illegal search. During the hearing on this motion, the State nolle prossed all charges except the trafficking charge, which was reduced to possession of over 200 grams of methamphetamine. Bain also waived his right to a jury trial and during a bench trial stipulated to sufficient facts for the trial court to find him guilty of possession of methamphetamine.

1. [258 Ga.App. 441] In several enumerations of error, Bain contends that the trial court erroneously denied his motion to suppress. We do not agree.

When an appellate court reviews a trial court's order concerning a motion to suppress evidence, the appellate court should be guided by three principles with regard to the interpretation of the trial court's judgment of the facts. First, when a motion to suppress is heard by the trial judge, that judge sits as the trier of facts. The trial judge hears the evidence, and his findings based upon conflicting evidence are analogous to the verdict of a jury and should not be disturbed by a reviewing court if there is any evidence to support [them]. Second, the trial court's decision with regard to the questions of fact and credibility must be accepted unless clearly erroneous. Third, the reviewing court must construe the evidence most favorably to the upholding of the trial court's findings and judgment.

(Citations omitted.) Edgerton v. State, 237 Ga.App. 786, 787, 516 S.E.2d 830 (1999).

Viewed in the light most favorable to the trial court's judgment and findings, the evidence shows that on April 20, 2001, a fellow officer gave Detective Thompson, a detective with the Forsyth County Sheriff Department, Kenny Jackson's telephone number and told him that Jackson had information regarding local drug activity. When Detective Thompson called Jackson, Jackson told him that Bain was pressuring him to sell drugs, and he agreed to meet with Thompson. On April 23, Thompson and his partner, Detective Murdock, met Jackson and Jackson's girlfriend at a church cemetery. During the meeting, Jackson told the officers that he and Bain had become friends while incarcerated and that he had done some computer work for Bain. Jackson told the detectives that Bain wanted him to sell drugs to pay off a $700 debt. He relayed to the officers details about Bain's home, including the extensive gun collection and the video surveillance system in Bain's home and told them that Bain had confided that he sold

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methamphetamine. Jackson told the officers the make, model, and tag number of Bain's vehicle and told them that Bain carried contraband in a container in the front seat area. Detective Thompson testified that Jackson told him Bain always carried around at least a pound of methamphetamine. Jackson agreed to participate in a controlled buy.

At the motion to suppress hearing, Detective Thompson testified that, after the meeting, he and Detective Murdock corroborated Jackson's information and then met with Jackson the next morning to have him attempt contact with Bain. That morning, April 24, in the [258 Ga.App. 442] presence of the detectives, Jackson made several...

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