Beeler v. State, No. 49A05-0307-CR-373.

Docket NºNo. 49A05-0307-CR-373.
Citation807 N.E.2d 789
Case DateMay 07, 2004
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

807 N.E.2d 789

Richard BEELER, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 49A05-0307-CR-373.

Court of Appeals of Indiana.

May 7, 2004.

Transfer Denied July 8, 2004.


807 N.E.2d 790
David Becsey, Zeigler Cohen & Koch, Indianapolis, IN, Attorney for Appellant

Steve Carter, Attorney General of Indiana, Grant H. Carlton, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, IN, Attorneys for Appellee.

OPINION

MATHIAS, Judge.

Richard Beeler ("Beeler") was convicted of Class D felony possession of cocaine1 in Marion Superior Court. He appeals arguing that the State failed to present sufficient evidence to support his conviction for possession of cocaine. We affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

On October 3, 2000, Indianapolis Police Officer Paul Vanek ("Officer Vanek") initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Beeler after Beeler disregarded a red light. During the stop, Beeler could not produce a driver's license or registration. Officer Vanek subsequently discovered that Beeler's driver's license was suspended and there was an outstanding warrant for Beeler's arrest. Beeler was placed under arrest, and during a search incident to that arrest, Officer Vanek discovered a black electronic scale in Beeler's back pocket.

Officer Vanek placed the scale on the trunk of Beeler's car. At Vanek's request, an officer with a narcotics trained canine arrived on the scene. The canine indicated the presence of narcotics on the scale. The scale was later tested by a crime lab chemist, who rinsed the scale with methanol, and concluded that residue on the scale was cocaine.2

On October 4, 2000, Beeler was charged with Class D felony possession of cocaine and Class A misdemeanor driving while suspended.3 After several continuances, a

807 N.E.2d 791
bench trial commenced on November 1, 2002. At trial, Beeler and the State entered into the following stipulation
Chemist Palfi rinsed the scale with, ... methanol to perform an analysis. His analysis indicated a cocaine residue was in fact cocaine. That there is a process by which an amount could have been discerned but it's not generally done and was not done in this case and now cannot be done. And Chemist Palfi cannot now identify an amount but can identify that this rinse residue is in fact cocaine.

Tr. p. 34. Beeler testified that he borrowed the scale from a friend because he was going to buy cocaine. Tr. pp. 38-39. He also stated that he did not know that there was cocaine residue on the scale. Tr. p. 38.

Beeler was found guilty of Class D felony possession of cocaine. At the sentencing hearing held on December 6, 2002, the trial court found that Beeler's trial testimony was not credible and wanted to make a record of that determination in the event of an appeal. Tr. pp. 96-97. Beeler was then sentenced to serve three years, with one year executed in home detention and two years suspended. On July 28, 2003, Beeler filed a belated notice of appeal.

Standard of Review

Our standard of review for sufficiency claims is well settled. We neither reweigh the evidence nor judge the credibility of the witnesses. Cox v. State, 774 N.E.2d 1025, 1029 (Ind.Ct.App.2002). We only consider the evidence most favorable to the judgment and the reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom. Id. Where there is substantial evidence of probative value to support the judgment, it will not be disturbed. Armour v. State, 762 N.E.2d 208, 215 (Ind.Ct.App.2002), trans. denied.

Discussion and Decision

To sustain a conviction for Class D felony possession of cocaine, the State had to prove that Beeler, "without a valid prescription or order of a practitioner acting in the course of the practitioner's professional practice, knowingly or intentionally" possessed cocaine. See Ind.Code § 35-48-4-6 (1998 & Supp.2003). Beeler argues that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction for possession of cocaine because the State "proceeded to trial without evidence of visible material and without evidence of a measurable amount of drug.... Mr. Beeler did not knowingly or intentionally possess something that was not visible, was present in a microscopic quantity, and was not measured." Br. of Appellant at 2.

Relying on Brown v. State, 177 Ind.App. 607, 380 N.E.2d 609 (1978), the State argues that "[a]ny identifiable amount of an illegal drug is sufficient to convict a defendant for possession of the same." Br. of Appellee at 3. In Brown, the defendant was seen dropping a tinfoil packet...

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1 practice notes
  • SERRANO V. State Of Ind., No. 02A03-0908-CV-362
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 28, 2010
    ...was sufficient to prove that Serrano knowingly or intentionally possessed the cocaine residue found in his truck. See Beeler v. State, 807 N.E.2d 789 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004) (evidence was sufficient to support finding that defendant knowingly or intentionally possessed cocaine residue found on......
1 cases
  • SERRANO V. State Of Ind., No. 02A03-0908-CV-362
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 28, 2010
    ...was sufficient to prove that Serrano knowingly or intentionally possessed the cocaine residue found in his truck. See Beeler v. State, 807 N.E.2d 789 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004) (evidence was sufficient to support finding that defendant knowingly or intentionally possessed cocaine residue found on......

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