Opinion No. 65
from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District, State
of Idaho, Bannock County. Hon. Robert C. Naftz, District
of conviction, affirmed.
D. Fredericksen, State Appellate Public Defender; Brian R.
Dickson, Deputy Appellate Public Defender, Boise, for
R. Dickson argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Russell J. Spencer,
Deputy Attorney General, Boise, for respondent.
Russell J. Spencer argued.
Heiner, aka Olin, appeals from her judgment of conviction
entered upon the jury verdict finding her guilty of
possession of methamphetamine. Heiner argues the district
court erred when it: (1) denied Heiner's request to
instruct the jury on Idaho Code § 18-201(1) and (2)
denied Heiner's motion for a new trial. Because other
jury instructions adequately addressed the same issue as the
instruction requested by Heiner, the district court did not
err in denying Heiner's requested jury instruction and
did not abuse its discretion in denying Heiner's motion
for a new trial. We affirm the district court's judgment
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
stopped a vehicle with an expired license plate. Heiner was
the passenger in the vehicle. The officer made contact with
the driver, explained the reason for the stop, and conducted
a driver's check on the driver and Heiner. The officer
discovered that the driver had a misdemeanor warrant for his
arrest, as well as an invalid driver's license. The
driver was arrested based on the warrant.
officer made contact with Heiner and asked her to step out of
the vehicle. During the subsequent search of the vehicle, the
officer found a purse that Heiner admitted belonged to her.
The purse held other small coin purses, two of which
contained plastic bags with white residue. One bag tested
presumptively positive for methamphetamine and the other did
not. When asked about the bag that tested positive for
methamphetamine, Heiner explained she thought the white
residue was aspirin. Heiner was arrested and charged with
possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, I.C.
trial, Heiner claimed ignorance as her defense. Generally,
Heiner testified that she did not have knowledge that
methamphetamine was in her purse. Heiner explained there was
aspirin in her purse, but she did not notice anything unusual
about the container containing the aspirin. Heiner did not
recall any other baggie in her purse aside from the aspirin
baggie. Heiner explained she never owned any baggies with
controlled substances and she had no explanation how a baggie
with methamphetamine was in her purse. Defense counsel
requested the district court provide a jury instruction with
language from I.C. § 18-201(1), which explained a person
is incapable of committing a crime if the person committed
the act under ignorance or mistake of fact which disproves
any criminal intent. The district court declined to give the
jury found Heiner guilty of possession of methamphetamine.
Heiner filed a motion to set aside the verdict and a motion
for a new trial, which the district court
denied. The district court sentenced Heiner to a
unified term of five years, with two years determinate,
suspended the sentence, and placed Heiner on probation for a
period of four years. Heiner timely appeals.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the jury has been properly instructed is a question of law
over which we exercise free review. State v.
Severson, 147 Idaho 694, 710, 215 P.3d 414, 430 (2009).
When reviewing jury instructions, we ask whether the
instructions as a whole, and not individually, fairly and
accurately reflect ...