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State of Idaho v. Eugene Victorovich Agafonov

November 27, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO,
PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
EUGENE VICTOROVICH AGAFONOV, AKA EUGENE YEUGENIY,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Ada County. Hon. Michael E. Wetherell, District Judge.

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

2012 Unpublished Opinion No. 733

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

THIS IS AN UNPUBLISHED OPINION AND SHALL NOT BE CITED AS AUTHORITY

Judgment of conviction for possession of heroin and possession of paraphernalia, affirmed.

Eugene Victorovich Agafonov, aka Eugene Yeugeniy appeals from his judgment of conviction for possession of heroin and possession of paraphernalia. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURE

On April 5, 2010, an officer responded to an emergency call regarding a possible overdose at a residence. Upon arrival, the officer was led inside by a resident to an upstairs bathroom, where Agafonov lay on the floor with shallow breathing, a rapid pulse, and a discolored face--deep red to purplish in color. The officer questioned an acquaintance of Agafonov regarding whether Agafonov had ingested drugs. The acquaintance stated he did not know. Paramedics and a second officer arrived at the scene. The paramedics moved Agafonov from the bathroom, at which time the first officer began to search for clues regarding the cause of Agafonov's condition. Inside the bathroom, the officer discovered two syringes located in a cupboard drawer (one loaded and one empty), two charred metal spoons, a syringe cap and a used Q-Tip with what appeared to be blood in a garbage can, a belt, a tin with more Q-tips, a razor blade, and white residue. The liquid in the loaded syringe later tested positive for heroin.

During this period of time, the second officer and the paramedics each questioned the acquaintance regarding what could have caused Agafonov to become unresponsive. After speaking with the acquaintance, the second officer reported to paramedics and the first officer that Agafonov ingested opiates. Paramedics then administered Narcan, an opiate blocker used to treat overdoses. After paramedics administered the Narcan, Agafonov immediately became responsive. Paramedics then transported Agafonov to the hospital, where medical personnel attempted to obtain a blood sample. Agafonov refused, telling his sister, "I don't want them to draw my blood. Because if they want to prove anything, they won't be able to prove anything if they don't have my blood." Agafonov then departed the hospital against medical advice.

The state subsequently charged Agafonov with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. The case went to trial, where the state called the acquaintance as a witness. Although the state had originally sought to use statements made by the acquaintance to the second officer regarding Agafonov's past practice of injecting opiates, it had decided not to pursue this due to its pretrial investigation, which indicated the acquaintance would no longer stand by those statements. On direct examination, the acquaintance testified that he discovered Agafonov unconscious on the bathroom floor and tried to revive him. He stated that, when the officers and paramedics arrived, he told them all the same thing when questioned about what happened, but they did not believe him. During cross-examination, Agafonov questioned the acquaintance regarding statements made to the second officer that were contained in his police report. The acquaintance denied making a number of statements contained therein.

Prior to redirect, the state requested a hearing outside the presence of the jury. The state argued that, because Agafonov used the police report in cross-examination, the state should be allowed to inquire into the rest of the report, including the portion regarding the acquaintance's statement that Agafonov had injected opiates in the past. Agafonov argued that the state was trying to impeach its own witness, that there was improper foundation for I.R.E. 404(b) evidence because the acquaintance was an unreliable source of the information, and I.R.E. 403 precluded admission of the report. The district court ruled that the remaining portions of the report were admissible under I.R.E. 404(b); for impeachment and rehabilitation purposes; under I.R.E. 106--the doctrine of completeness; and as out-of-order rebuttal evidence. The state thereafter questioned the acquaintance regarding his prior statement to the second officer regarding Agafonov's past intravenous use of opiates, after which the district court gave a limiting instruction. The jury found Agafonov guilty of both counts. Agafonov appeals.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Agafonov contends the district court erred in allowing the statement about Agafonov's prior intravenous opiate use into evidence. Challenges to a trial court's decision to admit or exclude evidence are reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard. State v. Zimmerman, 121 Idaho 971, 974, 829 P.2d 861, 864 (1992). When a trial court's discretionary decision is reviewed on appeal, the appellate court conducts a multi-tiered inquiry to determine: (1) whether the lower court correctly perceived the issue as one of discretion; (2) whether the lower court acted within the boundaries of such discretion and consistently with any legal standards applicable to the specific choices before it; and (3) whether the lower court reached its decision by an exercise of reason. ...


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