Strong v. State, 62950

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Writing for the CourtDEEN
Citation161 Ga.App. 123,291 S.E.2d 33
PartiesSTRONG v. The STATE.
Docket NumberNo. 62950,62950
Decision Date15 January 1982

Mary M. Young, Albany, for appellant.

H. Lamar Cole, Dist. Atty., Valdosta, James B. Thagard, Asst. Dist. Atty., Moultrie, for appellee.

DEEN, Presiding Judge.

John Leon Strong brings this appeal from his conviction of violating the Georgia Controlled Substances Act on November 29, 1980.

1. There is no merit in appellant's contention that the trial court erred in admitting the state's first exhibit over objection. Three officers (James, Easters and Lindsay) testified that they were present when a plastic bag containing twelve manilla envelopes were removed from the waistband area of a codefendant's pants. Lindsay actually removed the bag and Easters printed the label which was placed on the bag and it was turned over to James who placed it in his evidence locker overnight. In the morning, James turned the evidence over to Sgt. Smith who took it to the State Crime Laboratory in Moultrie where it was received by Dr. Curtis on December 2, 1980. As the bag was leaking its contents, Dr. Curtis placed it inside another plastic bag and placed it in the evidence locker. He analyzed the contents on December 4, 1980, and they tested positive for marijuana. On January 9, 1981, Dr. Larry Howard removed the bag from the evidence locker and took it with him to Atlanta. It was returned by mail from the State Crime Laboratory in Atlanta to the Moultrie laboratory on February 11, 1981. Appellant claims that there was a break in the chain of custody because the police officers could not positively state that the manila envelopes offered in evidence at trial were the same ones taken from Lewis, the codefendant, and that the custody chain was also broken because Dr. Howard did not testify at trial.

When asked to identify the evidence, Officer James testified that the exhibit appeared to be the plastic bag that the manila envelopes were in, that the envelopes were the same type that were seized, and that he turned the evidence over to Sgt. Smith. Officer Easters identified the plastic bag because he had printed a label and placed it on the bag after it was removed from Lewis. Although Smith could not positively identify the manila envelopes containing marijuana as the ones turned over to him in the plastic bag, he testified that after he received the plastic bag from James he filled out an information sheet, attached it to the bag containing the manila envelopes and took it to the crime lab. Dr. Curtis identified the evidence as that which he received from Smith.

We find that the appellant has not raised a chain of custody question, but rather a question of credibility. "The burden the state must carry to gain admission of evidence such as this is to show with reasonable certainty that the evidence is the same as that seized and that there has been no tampering or substitution. Patterson v. State, 224 Ga. 197(2), 160 S.E.2d...

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6 cases
  • Law v. State, s. 64698
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 8, 1983
    ...that it was consumed by the analyses performed by Mr. Mills and the analyst acting on behalf of the defense. See Strong v. State, 161 Ga.App. 123(1), 291 S.E.2d 33 (1982). This enumeration is without Judgment affirmed. DEEN, P.J., and SOGNIER, J., concur. ...
  • Sampson v. State, 65992
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 17, 1983
    ...insufficient to require exclusion of the evidence. See Johnson v. State, 143 Ga.App. 169, 237 S.E.2d 681 (1977); Strong v. State, 161 Ga.App. 123, 124, 291 S.E.2d 33 (1982). Accord, Shrader v. State, 159 Ga.App. 522(2), 284 S.E.2d 37 (1981). 8. The trial court properly disallowed attempts b......
  • Boyer v. State, 71567
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 20, 1986
    ...substance was guarded every minute and, in the absence of evidence of tampering, the chain was not broken. Accord Strong v. State, 161 Ga.App. 123(1), 291 S.E.2d 33 (1982); Spivey v. State, 170 Ga.App. 196, 199, 316 S.E.2d 822 (1984). What is required is reasonable certainty that the eviden......
  • Williams v. State
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • April 30, 1982
    ...See Foster v. State, 248 Ga. 409, 411, 283 S.E.2d 873 (1981); Cox v. State, 248 Ga. 713, 285 S.E.2d 687 (1982); Strong v. State, 161 Ga.App. 123, 288 S.E.2d 921 (1982). With reference to the second juror, it is appellant's contention that he held a preconceived notion of guilt. Based upon o......
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