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State of Idaho v. Lori Ann Phillips

August 10, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
LORI ANN PHILLIPS,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Minidoka County. Hon. Michael R. Crabtree, District Judge.

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

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 587

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Judgment of conviction and consecutive, unified sentences of ten years, with three years determinate, for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, affirmed; order denying Idaho Criminal Rule 35 motion for reduction of sentences, affirmed.

Lori Ann Phillips appeals from her judgment of conviction for two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and consecutive, unified sentences of ten years, with three years determinate. Specifically, Phillips asserts the district court abused its discretion both when it allowed for the admission of irrelevant, prejudicial evidence and in imposing sentences. She requests this Court to vacate her judgment of conviction and remand the case, or alternatively, to reduce her sentences as is deemed appropriate. Additionally, Phillips appeals from the district court's order denying her Idaho Criminal Rule 35 motion for reduction of sentences. If no relief is granted on the previous assignments of error, Phillips requests a reversal of the order denying her Rule 35 motion and a remand for further proceedings. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

On March 2, 2009, a confidential informant for the State arranged to purchase methamphetamine from Phillips. While being monitored by police, the informant met Phillips at her residence and purchased about an ounce of methamphetamine on March 3, 2009. Police arranged another controlled buy using the confidential informant, in which Phillips again delivered roughly an ounce of methamphetamine to the informant on March 12, 2009. The police audio-recorded the second controlled buy.

Based on the two controlled buys, the State charged Phillips with two counts of trafficking methamphetamine, later amended to two counts of delivery of a controlled substance. At the jury trial, the State called the confidential informant to the stand as one of its witnesses. The informant testified in regards to buying methamphetamine from Phillips during each of the two arranged purchases and established foundation to admit a portion of the audio recording from the second buy. Prior to admission of the recording, defense counsel objected to part of the audio recording in which Phillips and the informant discussed the possibility of Phillips selling four more ounces of methamphetamine to the informant at some time in the future. The district court overruled the objection, finding it would lend credibility to the confidential informant and be corroborative of his description of events.*fn1

The jury found Phillips guilty on both counts of delivery of a controlled substance, Idaho Code § 37-2732(a)(1)(A). Thereafter, the district court imposed consecutive, unified sentences of ten years, with three years determinate, for each count. Phillips filed a timely notice of appeal as to the judgment of conviction. She also filed a Rule 35 motion for reduction of sentences, which the district court denied. Phillips also appeals from the order denying that motion. On appeal, Phillips asserts the district court erred in three ways: (1) by admitting the portion of the audio recording relating to possible future sales; (2) in imposing harsh sentences; and (3) in denying her motion for a reduction of sentences.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Admission of Evidence

Phillips argues a portion of the audio recording introduced into evidence was irrelevant and overly prejudicial. The particular portion of the recording of which she complains conveyed a conversation between Phillips and the confidential informant regarding possible future sales of larger quantities of methamphetamine. The State responds that Phillips failed to show the evidence lacked relevance and ...


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