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State of Idaho v. Troy Dwayne Payne

August 2, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TROY DWAYNE PAYNE,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Elmore County. Hon. Richard D. Greenwood, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lansing, Judge

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 573

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine, affirmed.

Troy Dwayne Payne appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine. Payne asserts that the court erred by preventing him from presenting his defense.

I. BACKGROUND

On April 6, 2009, without any prior notice, Payne went to the home of a law enforcement officer and handed the officer a small container filled with methamphetamine. According to Payne's subsequent trial testimony, the officer agreed to allow him to turn in the methamphetamine "without any repercussions" and "with no strings attached." However, the officer testified that he told Payne only that the officer would not pursue charges if Payne entered drug rehabilitation treatment and provided information to the police, presumably regarding the source of the drugs. Payne refused to cooperate with the police, however, and was eventually charged with possession of a controlled substance, I.C. § 37-2732(c)(1), for possessing the methamphetamine that he gave to the officer.

Shortly after the jury was empaneled, the State notified the court that it anticipated that Payne would testify regarding his motive for possessing methamphetamine, and the State orally moved to preclude such testimony on grounds of irrelevance. Defense counsel confirmed that Payne planned to present a defense that he did not intend to possess the methamphetamine. Defense counsel said that Payne would testify about his motive and intent in order to demonstrate that he possessed the methamphetamine for the sole purpose of delivering it to the police. The district court repeatedly declined to rule on the State's motion regarding the admissibility of such testimony, preferring to wait until Payne testified. Payne ultimately was allowed to testify that an acquaintance tossed the container into his car, and that in an effort to "do the right thing" he took it to the police as soon as he realized that it contained drugs. The jury returned a guilty verdict and Payne appeals, contending that the district court erroneously prevented him from presenting a defense that he lacked the requisite intent for the offense.

II. ANALYSIS

Payne asserts that the district court erred by denying him the opportunity to give testimony regarding his intent, thereby preventing him from presenting his defense to the charge. We conclude that Payne has not shown error in this regard because the court did not preclude him from testifying about his motive or intent. During the initial hearing on the State's motion to exclude testimony about Payne's intent or motive, the court informed the parties:

. I'm not going to make a ruling right now. So in the event that you want to submit, either verbally or in writing, some authority on it, if the--I will say, preliminarily, that I tend to agree with the State that motive is not an element of the crime nor a defense to the crime. Although, I can imagine circumstances where--I guess one being, law enforcement having possession is not a crime. So I guess I'm going to wait and hear.

. I'm not making up my mind. I'm just saying that what if someone finds a package of illegal drugs in a--

--the entryway to an elementary school? Just to make up wild hypotheticals. And so what they do is they pick it up so they can give it to the cops, and they get arrested on the way to ...


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