Missouri’s Eastern District Court of Appeals reversed Darryl Moses’s conviction for possession of drugs (cocaine) and ordered Moses discharged, after it found insufficient evidence to support the defendant’s conviction.
The evidence at Moses’s trial indicated that he and another man fled the scene when police arrived to serve a search warrant at his mother’s residence. “The affidavit accompanying the warrant explained that a confidential informant had three times purchased drugs from two different persons at that address in the past week, though the informant did not identify Moses as one of the sellers.” The officers’ search revealed cocaine on the kitchen table in plain view.
Moses was convicted of cocaine possession; however, Moses argued on appeal that, while he was aware of the drug’s presence, he did not maintain constructive possession. In order to prove constructive possession, the state must show that the “accused had the power and intention to exercise dominion or control over the substance either directly or through another person.” Because multiple people were at the scene and the residence was not owned by Moses himself, the state must have been able to point to some evidence that indicated Moses specifically intended to exercise control over the cocaine. The appellate court reversed the conviction and stated that Moses’s routine presence at the residence and his flight upon arrival of the police, alone, are not enough to sustain a jury’s guilty verdict.
View The Missouri Criminal Defense Law Opinion: State v. Darryl K. Moses
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